Understanding the global education crisis

The Challenge

Education is central to the success of the business community but in communities across the globe, education is often under-resourced. Children and young people frequently lack the quality, inclusive education they deserve to promote equity and prepare them for the future. By working together to solve the global education crisis, we can unleash the potential of the next generation.

260 million children

around the world not in school

Even before Covid-19, there were almost 260 million children around the world who were not in school. Of those, 75 million had their education interrupted by conflicts and emergencies. The pandemic has affected the education of more than 90% of the world’s children and further worsened the global education crisis.

90% of a child’s brain

develops between birth and the age of five

However, around 175 million children throughout the world are not enrolled in pre-primary education, despite research showing that supporting early learning is the best investment a government can make – providing a return of as much as $17 for every $1 invested in early childhood care.

825 million youth

across the globe will not have the skills necessary for the future workforce by 2030 if no action is taken

Thriving as a business in the 21st century requires an educated workforce, a growing customer base, and the ability to innovate and stay ahead of rapid change — all of these ultimately depend on the quality of the education system in the communities businesses live and work in. 

Yet, half of all young people across the world, more than 800 million in total, will by 2030 not have the basic skills necessary for the workforce. The global education crisis and skills gap have only been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and other humanitarian crises. More than ever, education systems are struggling to provide the quality education that all students deserve. If this inequality persists, it will harm the productivity, economic capacity, social health, and sustainability of communities worldwide. It’s time to make education everyone’s business.

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Get more facts and figures at The Key.

A comprehensive information toolkit on the global education crisis.