Quality education is the foundation for a prosperous life and upward socioeconomic mobility. For children born into poverty, it is the key to escape it. COVID-19 has erased years of gains in global education, with the spreading disease forcing almost 1.6 billion children out of school. As a consequence, an additional 9 percent, or 101 million, children in grades 1 through 8 fell below reading proficiency levels. 

Understanding information like the number of students in primary and secondary school, the quality of their education, the levels of academic attainment, and the number of teachers in schools is the foundation for building evidence-informed education policy for current and future generations of students.

In some parts of the world, students are going to school every day. It's their normal life. But in other parts of the world, we are starving for education... it's like a precious gift. It's like a diamond…

— Malala Yousafzai, activist