Tell us how we can help children everywhere learn. Take part in the World Bank and Financial Times’ blog writing competition


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Michell Huamán attending a virtual class in Lima, Peru, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo: © Victor Idrogo/World Bank
Michell Huamán attending a virtual class in Lima, Peru, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo: © Victor Idrogo/World Bank

Are you 16 to 19 years old? Are you currently enrolled in a high school or secondary school? Has COVID-19 affected your learning or the education of a friend or family member?

If yes, then take part in the World Bank Group and the Financial Times’ third joint global blog/essay writing competition.

The pandemic has disrupted our lives everywhere, and is changing the way we live, work and learn. This health crisis is creating another crisis – an education crisis. The World Bank estimates that an additional 72 million primary school age children will fall into learning poverty, due to extended school closures caused by the pandemic. Learning poverty is when a child cannot read and understand a simple text by the age of 10.

How can we help children learn, everywhere?

We want to hear from those most affected – young people. We want to hear from you! Tell us what you think by joining this blog competition.

Tell us how your learning experience been affected by COVID-19? What would you tell educators and policy makers to do differently? What would make an impact on your learning experience?  

This is your chance to get creative. This competition builds on the World Bank Group’s recent reports Realizing the Future of Learning and Reimagining Human Connections.

 Be innovative, be persuasive – and be bold!

Send us:

  1. A strong blog or essay, that is no longer than 500 words.
  2. Photos, videos, visualizations that help support your story, are optional.
  3. Your name, age, school, email, and country you live in.

The deadline for submissions is February 15th, 2021. Entries will be judged by a high-level panel comprised of senior officials at the World Bank, Financial Times, and select partners.

You could win a chance at being published in the Financial Times and the World Bank Blogs.

For more information on entering the competition and to submit your entry, click here.

You can also register your school here to receive free subscriptions of the Financial Times for students at any time:


Arathi Sundaravadanan

Senior External Affairs Officer, World Bank

Aidarhan Zhubatkan
September 10, 2021

Covid-19 was hard step in my life. If in start we thought, that it was a joke, then we were afraid. Some people lost their jobs, another people stopped their business. But I think, that the hardest problem is online training, because students can't understand all subjects. One of these students was me.
Firstly, we studied normal. After the most part of students found easy ways to get 5. Me too. I think, it is normal. To be honest very little part of students really want to study well and honestly. So, it was ideal chance, on top of that no one studied really. We used internet help. But it was not so easy as we thought. Usual schools didn't check for plagiarism, but I study in special school, names Nazarbayev Intellectual School. Our teachers checked everything and we saw, how students were threatened with expulsion, because of plagiarism. We thought, that it will be the end of easy marks. Nevertheless we found out, that we can paraphrase answers. In terms of study it was incorrect. However every student will say, that he is the most honest student.
Secondly, we lost communication with friends. It was hard at first time, then everybody used to it. Most of people stayed at home. We talk with friends only on lessons. Other time we watched films or serials, read books or studied to something useful. It was one of all challenges. The result of everything is depression. It's not illness that kills people, it's depression. It is offensive truth. Our presidents and loved starts say "Stay at home", but they don't know how it is, to stay at home for too long time. Because, they live in gold, other people dies on account of fasting, poverty, panic attacks and something else. I'm not complaining. Fortunately, these difficulties did not reach our family, but I know my acquaintances, who have felt these problems. Consequently, it was hard to most of our republic. Many republic help to their citizens, my republic is not exception. But they gave to us not so much, how other republic gave to their citizens. 100$ for one people is not enough. If my republic's members of parliament will hear my words, I will have big problems. It is true.
Finally, I think it was bad part of our life. I want to end this part faster, how I can. This essay is about changes during Covid-19. I sad everything. I sad true. Even though it's really heartbreaking, the truth is the truth.

John love peace Ngozi
September 10, 2021

Dear World bank ,
Thank you for your support in this scholarship program,it is very helpful I would like to take part in the competition and I would like to know how. Thank you.

John love peace Ngozi.
September 10, 2021

Dear World bank, Thank you for your support in the field of education and scholarship programs. The world is going through an economic recession due to the global pandemic.

In the field of education, schools have had to go on a lockdown in order to contain the spread of the virus which has greatly affected learning. All examinations and classes have had to be put on hold, even I was supposed to write my final papers for my senior high school final exams but it was postponed from last year November to this year February which also put my graduation on hold. I couldn't attend classes due to the rule on social distancing and we had to go for shift classes which actually slowed down the pace of learning because sometimes we only have to come to school once or twice in a week in order to make up for the lost time during the"stay at home". Many at times, some schools have had to do online classes to meet up with the scheme of work and most times it didn't favour me because I didn't have a cell phone. Even when schools were allowed to reopen I couldn't catch up easily because i was not on the school group chat and most of the topics that were taught on the online classes were not taught again.

In this trying times,we really need the help of the educators and policy makers in the aspect of education. We need them to try make the rules be eased a little bit and without breaking the Covid protection rules, continue to push forward in order to bring back students interest in returning back to school. This is because,a lot of students and pupils have lost interest in learning due to the so-called"pandemic holiday break". The policy makers should try to reopen schools so that students can continue with their education.

Due to all of the happenings and rules on social distancing, I have had to learn from home and also deal with a lot of struggles during the lockdown and this has made a very big impact on my learning experience and although having to miss some of the online classes set me back a little bit,I still found a way to catch up. Although the lockdown wasn't a very favourable period, it did help me become a better, hardworking and experienced person. The lockdown period allowed me see and understand life from a different angle. Although the pandemic slowed down learning and disrupted school schedule, it still helped students actually realize the essence of school.

If the government and policy makers could find a better way to help learning continue, it could help boost students interest in learning again and also In returning back to school whether it is full time or partially. Some countries have already started looking for the vaccine for the virus. These proposed vaccine should be tested so that treatment can commence and the lockdown will be over and everything can return back to how it was before the pandemic. With the help of fully funded scholarships, things could return to normal in the field of education.

Aljen Loha
September 10, 2021

This is Aljen Loha, from Assam India which is worked famous for TEA PRODUCTION it is good our people doing so much of hard work and getting 167/- rupees per day as daily wages and blessed for me to share our needs with World Bank I have been working among orphans kids and deprived kids since 4 years for education, nutrition food, costume and shelter so I on behalf of them please do visit us and extend your help what possible. Thank you

Arman Duwiwijaya
September 10, 2021

Everyone knows how much change this pandemic has made. Inequality worsens, generating conditions that are extremely difficult to maintain.

Eradicating or at least reducing the existing 'gaps' between students is crucial. They must have the same opportunities, be equipped with comprehensive resources, without having to fear 'running late'. This can be stimulated by distributing learning resources to students, either in the form of books (facilitated by the library ) or through online pdfs and TV shows.

Students should also be encouraged to sharpen their practical skills regarding daily life. Including internal accountability, financial management, health, even entrepreneurship.

That way, the pandemic is not only considered as a period of 'despair' but also a period where the young generation can innovate and develop their creativity.

Kum Roland Kuum
September 10, 2021

Coronavirus is a large family of viruses that cause illnesses ranging from common cold to more severe diseases such as middle east respiratory syndrome (MERS-Cov) and sever cute respiratory syndrome (SARS-Cov).
Coronavirus has definitely change the world;the way we live,the way we work and the way we were.
In Cameroon, on the "5 of March"the first victim was tested coronavirus positive and that is where I started having problem with my studies everyone thought it was going to last just for a short period of time but the more we were waiting with Hope's for schools to resume the more the cases where increasing and it resulted to a year been spend at home.
It was not easy for me after passing through all of that, and it was just my first year of going back to school after been in house for 4 good years because of the anglophone crises.
But I thank God everything is getting back to normal.
Thanks for the opportunity, yours sincerely hope.

Junyoung Jang
September 10, 2021

(From South Korea)
Due to Covid-19, not only the school but almost all activities were locked down, so online school was inevitable. I tried to overcome this situation by effectively managing the class schedule given to me by taking advantage of the special situation of this non-face-to-face class, and doing other studies during subject hours that were not reflected in my grades. What I felt during last year was that I realized the importance of face-to-face classes. Many people think that online school is better because it gives students a freedom through non-face-to-face classes, and that there are no unexpected situations that occur in real face-to-face classes. However, I think that the face-to-face class should continue even with a mask on. because I think that I can never ignore the joy of studying with my friends by communicating directly and interactively with the teacher in learning. I don't think that non-face-to-face classes can have all the advantages of face-to-face classes, but in preparation for the Covid-19 situation that may continue, First, by installing an online studio in each school or by supporting a web camera, students can get clearer and better video and lecture quality. Second, by reflecting the contents of the online lessons on the actual grades, the teachers are encouraged to give more enthusiasm and a sense of duty to the students, and the students can concentrate on the classes like face-to-face classes without neglecting non-face-to-face classes. I believe that coexistence with Corona 19 is not impossible, but inevitable. So, I think that various countermeasures should come out as soon as possible.

agbasieje praise ifunanya
September 10, 2021

Write a helping we children to get phones for online class cause not all parent can afford a phone