Photo of the Day: UNICEF’s ‘Learning Crisis Classroom’ Warns UN About an Ongoing Educational Disaster

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Ahead of the United Nations’ recent “Transforming Education Summit,” UNICEF set up a chalkboard and an array of empty desks outside the headquarters’ visitors entrance to reinforce for visiting world leaders the dire state of student learning amid the ongoing pandemic. 

The organization says the “Learning Crisis Classroom” was designed to “draw attention to the urgent need to transform education systems worldwide” as widening achievement gaps have left millions of schoolchildren “without foundational numeracy and literacy skills.” 

According to the organization’s preview announcement, “a third of the desks in the model classroom are made of wood and are fully functioning with an iconic UNICEF backpack placed on the school chair behind it, representing the one-third of 10-year-olds globally estimated to be able to read and understand a simple written story.

“The remaining two-thirds of desks are almost invisible and made of clear material to signify the 64 percent of children estimated to be unable to read and understand a simple written story by age 10.” The installation remains up through Monday; read the full UNICEF introduction

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