Global education monitoring

Learning recovery and addressing the learning crisis in the Asia Pacific: Policy brief

Publication Date



Emergency programs, Crisis management, Coronavirus (COVID-19), Access to education, School systems, Policy formation, Equal education, Reading, Mathematics


This background paper was prepared to inform the thematic panel discussion on Learning Recovery and Addressing the Learning Crisis at the 2nd Asia-Pacific Regional Education Ministerial Conference (APREMC-II) in June 2022.


The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted education for approximately 1.2 billion students across the Asia-Pacific, and forced the closure of many schools, precipitating a transition towards remote learning, albeit with uneven access and quality (UNESCO, 2021; Global Education Evidence Advisory Panel, 2022), and threatening to deepen the ‘learning crisis’ that already existed, particularly for the most vulnerable learners. As education systems in the Asia-Pacific seek to recover the learning loss due to the pandemic and address the broader learning crisis, it is incumbent on governments to identify appropriate recovery strategies in the short term. Also, governments need to support education system transformation so that all learners reach minimum proficiency in numeracy and literacy and acquire competencies needed to fulfil their potential: personal, social and economic. Learning recovery strategies will differ across the region, not the least because schools were fully or partially closed1for different lengths of time -for example, India (82 weeks), Indonesia (77 weeks), and Bangladesh (73 weeks). Other countries saw shorter closures, such as: Vanuatu (4 weeks), Papua New Guinea (6 weeks), and the Solomon Islands (7 weeks) (UNESCO, 2021). The examples provided in this brief draw from a range of countries that were fully or partially closed for different durations during the response and recovery phases of the pandemic.


UNESCO Office Bangkok and Regional Bureau for Education in Asia and the Pacific

Geographic Subject

Asia, Pacific region