Inclusive teaching: Preparing all teachers to teach all students

An important element of inclusive education involves ensuring that all teachers are prepared to teach all students. Inclusion cannot be realized unless teachers are empowered agents of change, with values, knowledge and attitudes that permit every student to succeed. Despite their differences in teacher standards and qualifications, education systems are increasingly moving away from identifying problems with learners and towards identifying barriers to learning. To complete this shift, education systems must design teacher education and professional learning opportunities that dispel entrenched views that some students are deficient, unable to learn or incapable.

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COVID-19 is a serious threat to aid to education recovery

Just as a sense of optimism was returning, the COVID-19 pandemic hit – the second major disruption to global development in a dozen years. A recession, with detrimental effects on public revenue-raising capacity and budget allocations, is inevitable. In advanced economies, the gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to decline by 8% in 2020, according to the International Monetary Fund’s World Economic Outlook. Even if we assume that education does not become a lower priority in total aid, squeezed budgets could translate into a fall for aid to education of up to US$2 billion by 2022. It may be six years until 2018 levels are reached again.

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Act now: Reduce the impact of COVID-19 on the cost of achieving SDG 4


There is a US$148 billion annual financing gap in low- and lower-middle-income countries to achieve SDG 4 from now until 2030. Additional costs due to COVID-19 related school closures risk increasing this financing gap by up to one-third, or US$30 to US$45 billion. But investing now in remedial and re‑enrolment programmes could reduce this additional cost by as much as 75%.

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Inclusion and Education

In line with its mandate, the 2020 GEM Report assesses progress towards Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4) on education and its ten targets, as well as other related education targets in the SDG agenda. The report also addresses inclusion in education, drawing attention to all those excluded from education, because of background or ability.