Ei-iE

Forward to School: Guidance, Considerations and Resources for and from Education Unions to Inform Decision-Making in Times of Covid-19

published 30 July 2020 updated 17 August 2021

Forward to School provides a wealth of resources to inform the response of education unions in this next stage of the Covid-19 education crisis. It features information, research and, most importantly, examples of union actions in more than 50 countries across all regions.

In April 2020, Education International published its Guidance on Reopening Schools and Education Institutions. Informed by insights from educators in a variety of contexts all across the world, we identified five essential areas governments needed to focus on to ensure a safe transition back to onsite education and to mitigate the impact of the prolonged closures on students and educators. The five pillars of the Education International Guidance are:

  1. Engage in social and policy dialogue
  2. Ensure the health and safety of education communities
  3. Make equity a top priority
  4. Support physical and emotional wellbeing and recovery
  5. Trust the professionalism of educators

Built around these five pillars, Forward to School provides a wealth of resources to inform the response of education unions in this next stage of the Covid-19 education crisis. It features information, research and, most importantly, examples of union actions in more than 50 countries across all regions.

What lies ahead will not be easy. But the title Forward to School also refers to the opportunity at hand. The transition back to onsite education must not be a transition back to undervalued, underfunded and deeply unequal education systems. This exceptional situation provides an opportunity to improve systems, particularly as the world now more acutely understands the complexity and value of our work. Schools are irreplaceable and absolutely essential. They are the very heart of our communities. Now is the time to push forward and take the lead as the organised and principled profession we are. We must continue to teach, we must continue to learn, to mobilise and organise for our colleagues and for our students. Together, we can turn this terrible crisis into the foundation of a better world.