Equity in education: Strengthening educational opportunities

The COVID-19 pandemic forced school closures in nearly all countries in 2020, though the situation has steadily improved in 2021. OECD data shows that lower performing education systems were more likely to close for longer periods of time. Children from disadvantaged backgrounds are more likely to have lost school hours and to have lacked the resources for effective remote learning.

The pandemic has also provided a stark reminder that we do not all start out with same resources and opportunities, and that the consequences of this persist throughout our lives. This is where education can make a real difference, by creating a more level playing field for people of all ages to acquire the skills that power better jobs and better lives.

However, education inequalities persist, with gender, socio-economic status, family background, or geography still shaping our access to learning, whether or not we succeed in school, and the choices we’ll make as part of the education and jobs we pursue.

Equity in education benefits not just individuals but all of us together, helping us to realise strong economies and resilient societies. We cannot build a robust, sustainable recovery without it.

Access to resources and opportunities for all

Getting the right support for girls and boys

Invest in education and digital skills

Boosting lifelong learning for all

What should governments do?

Develop many educational and professional pathways

Invest in education in a sustained and efficient way

Learn from the digital shifts brought by the pandemic

Explore your country

What does the future of learning look like for youth?

We’ve put together resources from across the OECD to help students, parents and teachers navigate the future of work.

Education at a Glance 2021

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