07 Nov 2022
Virtual, EST (GMT-5)
How can we support local learning priorities in the post-COVID-19 era?

Amid epic challenges to education across the globe, there has been vigorous international debate about learning in the post-COVID-19 era: Should education systems prioritize foundational literacy and numeracy, or aim to develop broader holistic skills, such as social-emotional learning, critical thinking, and problem-solving?

With at least 463 million students unable to access learning opportunities during the COVID-19 pandemic, inequality in education access, participation, and learning have sharply increased—well beyond the already high levels prior to the pandemic. While these learning challenges impact communities across the world, the debate over learning priorities has become particularly focalized in systemically marginalized and under-resourced contexts, with global development research and funding often supporting one set of these priorities over another.

Critical questions remain: What do leaders working with marginalized communities see as most important in these contexts? How are leaders navigating the global debate on post-COVID-19 learning priorities? How are local leaders, governments, and organizations working to help young people develop the skills they need to participate actively as agents of change for themselves and their communities? And how can global actors best support education transformation that prioritizes local needs and aspirations?  

On 7 November, the Brookings Center for Universal Education (CUE) and Yidan Prize Foundation co-hosted a virtual event to explore these questions and more. A panel of education experts from across the globe shared their perspectives—informed by their experiences as researchers, policymakers, advocates, and practitioners in diverse political and economic contexts.  

Viewers could submit questions via email to or via Twitter at #BrookingsYidanPrize.

Photos & videos
10:00–10:05am — Welcome
10:05–11am — Moderated discussion
  • Moderator: Jennifer O’Donoghue, Senior Fellow and Deputy Director, Center for Universal Education, Brookings
  • Rukmini Banerji, CEO, Pratham Education Foundation; 2021 Yidan Prize for Education Development Laureate
  • Esteban Moctezuma, Ambassador of Mexico to the United States and Former Secretary of Public Education, Government of Mexico
  • Lynda Eunice Nakaibale, Program Associate, Raising Teenagers Uganda; Founder, Tujifunze Africa; Member, UNESCO SDG4 Youth Network
  • Suman Sachdeva, Education Specialist, UNICEF Sierra Leone; 2014 Echidna Global Scholar, Brookings