Globally, the majority of education systems are operating in a climate marked by recurrent school closure and reopening cycles for the second consecutive academic year. This threatens sustainable recovery. Mass education disruption has individual- and institutional-level effects. There are negative consequences for individual life opportunities which are heightened for marginalized groups; and for macro-economic and societal development at the country level. This policy brief, aimed at G20 countries and donors, recommends a first-open
last-close strategy for schools contingent on a strong crisis-sensitive inclusive approach to educational policy and planning for response, recovery, and future prevention. It recommends a ‘twin-track approach’ to address equity concerns, that is, to institute and support mechanisms and policies in education financing, provision, and regulation to boost education resources overall, and to proactively target supplementary resources to the disadvantaged at all levels, i.e., countries, sub-national administrations, communities, schools, and individual groups. At the individual level, the most disproportionately affected students experiencing new pandemic-related vulnerabilities, and students who entered the pandemic in existing vulnerable circumstances, compounded crises, and with intersecting inequities, must be prioritized. The brief considers actions in four key areas: (i) emergency digital distance learning; (ii) education financing; (iii) education management and information systems (EMIS) and micro-planning; and (iv) citizen engagement for accountability and transparency in education.