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How cities are utilizing the power of non-formal and informal learning to respond to the COVID-19 crisis

A new UNESCO issue note, produced by the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL), aims to support education policy-makers and planners in utilizing the power of non-formal and informal learning to respond to the COVID-19 crisis. It explains lessons learned and suggests concrete measures for action.

In almost all countries affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, cities are the epicentres of infection and the frontlines for dealing with the vast implications of this public health emergency. In pursuit of effective education responses, many cities have mobilized cross-sectoral resources and are promoting, supporting and developing a variety of non-formal and informal learning initiatives to ensure continuity of education and equip and empower citizens with multi-faceted tools to face the crisis.

Non-formal and informal learning initiatives represent additional opportunities to reach underserved communities, promote relevant learning outcomes and organize flexible and efficient programmes. These inherently adaptable learning modalities are well-suited to rapidly changing circumstances, such as those surrounding COVID-19, and have therefore become a critical part of many cities’ educational response to the pandemic, underpinning urban resilience and the capacity to recover from crises.

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