When the pandemic hit, teachers worldwide worked tirelessly to ensure that their students were still learning. COVID-19 is setting students' learning back and it will have impact for years to come.
Some children will struggle to catch up, and others may not return to school at all. And, when girls are out of school, they're at greater risk of becoming victims of early marriage, domestic violence, trafficking or forced migration. Teachers around the world worked extra hard to keep students engaged in school.
We want to share some stories of incredible teachers who are working hard to make sure their students still receive the education they deserve.
Alice in Uganda majored in English and Social Studies in university, and has 23 years of teaching experience under her belt. She teaches primary grades four and five in her community.
"I was inspired to become a teacher thanks to my primary school mathematics teacher. I knew that the best profession I could pursue was teaching and here I am, a fully made teacher. I am living my dream!"
When schools closed in Uganda, Alice and her colleagues traveled to several students' homes to provide them with homework, and help them navigate remote learning. She also visited girls in the community to give them sanitary pads and check on their well being.
Martin from Bolivia teaches kindergarten and grade one at the local primary school. He focuses on teaching his students about healthy food and nutrition.
He's proud to see how his students progress through their school years and how their families are improving their health.
"Our successes at the school have been great. I love helping children and families achieve positive change. We work with migrants from the countryside who don't have many opportunities. This school means they have a door to see a bright future."
Awal has been a primary school teacher for 15 years in Ghana. He loves inspiring youth in his community - it's his favourite part of the job.
"At my school, all of our programs are directed to seeing a child's performance excel. Most of the children from our school go to secondary school without dropping out."
As soon as the pandemic hit, Awal worried about his students' well being, especially the girls in his class. He visited his students' homes to bring them homework, help them access televised lessons, and assist them with remote learning through local radio programs.
Thank you to Alice, Martin, Awal and all the other hardworking educators around the world who are ensuring that the gaps in children's education are minimal, and that girls in the community are safe and have the opportunity to learn and grow.