Global Framework for Educational Statistics Post-COVID-19


The COVID-19 crisis has affected the education sector hard. The closing of schools has interrupted the normal function of the system, reducing student learning, and restricting the amount of administrative and student assessment data available to education authorities, parents, and decision makers. However, as the crisis wanes, many important decisions need to be made now to anticipate the reopening of schools and the restoration of normality in the education system and in the life of students and their families.

The medium and long-term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are still uncertain, but the need to continue educating children, and the need to restore the learning losses brought in by the crisis, requires short-term actions by Ministry of Education and other Government authorities. To that end, there is an urgent need for essential information at the school level that can be used to guide decisions on policies, financial support, the assignment of personnel, and the implementation of educational platforms for delivering education in person and remotely.

UNESCO, the World Bank Group (WBG) and UNICEF have launched the Framework for Reopening Schools, a flexible tool for policy makers and planners highlighting all the factors that will make this experience a successful one for students, teachers, principals, parents and the wider community.

Although there is plenty of conceptual and practical advice coming from many sources, educational planning units or/and national statistical offices (NSOs) have yet to define their scope of work during the crisis, and to reformulate their role as repository of education data after the crisis. Because the availability of data will also be impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, there is a need to document in detail how the pandemic affects the ability of countries to report on standard education indicators, and to assess the quality of data reported to help interpret correctly the data reported in 2020 and 2021.

Within this context, governments have increased their attention on the development of nationally centralized databases to follow up on COVID-19 responses. However, these countries have generated a strong demand for technical guidance, and information of technical tools and good practices.

The objective is to build a preliminary statistical framework for COVID-19 and provide a checklist of good practices. The Framework will guide the data collection and indicators framework which will allow governments in low- and middle-income countries to have a clearer picture of the situation, and help them identify specific issues related to the reopening of schools under critical conditions.