Commission Director Liesbet Steer and Commissioner Ju-Ho Lee spoke with Chief Learning Officer at IE University Nick Van Dam about the #SaveOurFuture campaign, the need to rethink the education workforce, and the opportunity to harness technology to personalize learning during a round table as part of the enlightED Virtual Edition 2020 conference on October 21, 2020.

Recent estimates suggest significant cuts in budgets in low- and middle-income countries, combined with increased financing needs, governments will need to make difficult choices and ruthlessly prioritize cost-effective interventions for those children left furthest behind. The #SaveOurFuture campaign and white paper supported by a global coalition has developed a common narrative around the impact of COVID-19 on education and suggested key actions needed to protect education. This will help focus the better use of resources by improving evidence generation, coordination, alignment, and effectiveness; protect education budgets, and target public spending at those left furthest behind.

The negative impacts on children’s future and long-term opportunities cannot be overstated. The precise impact of the crisis will not be known for many months. With grassroots changes and shifts in the role of teachers and school leaders, greater engagement with parents and the community, this is a chance to rethink the role of education workforce. It is also an opportunity to consider how to integrate the use of technology to help teachers personalize their teaching and help students catch up on lost learning.