As advisers to the nation on all matters of science, medicine, and public health, we are compelled to underscore the value of science-based decision-making at all levels of government. Our nation is at a critical time in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic with important decisions ahead of us, especially concerning the efficacy and safety of vaccines.
Learning transitions can be disruptive and unsettling to any young person. Children aged between 12-25 years old are particularly vulnerable, given how this period can impact on increased risks of anxiety, depressive disorders, and mental illnesses later in life.
Universities and other higher education institutions have a critical role in helping society achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through their research, learning and teaching, campus operations and leadership. One of the most important ways they can contribute to this is to support students and other learners within their sphere to develop the necessary knowledge, skills and mindsets to contribute to solving the complex sustainable development challenges our world faces.
Literacy programmes have suffered severely during the COVID-19 pandemic, yet adult literacy and education have been absent in many initial education responses. Even before the crisis, 773 million non-literate adults and young people were failing to acquire basic reading and numeracy skills.