The heroes who kept education going in 2020

2020 posed an unprecedented challenge for education

(SOUNDBITE) (English) UNITED NATIONS SECRETARY GENERAL, ANTONIO GUTERRES, SAYING: "The largest disruption of education effort. In mid-July, schools will close in more than 160 countries, affecting over one billion students."

But some around the world went to incredible lengths

to deliver or continue with lessons

Courtesy: Digi24

Location: Cornatea

This teacher trekked 14km each day

to reach Romania's reportedly smallest school

(SOUNDBITE) (Romanian) TEACHER, ANA MASNIT, SAYING:"I love the children and I have to make the effort because I love these children. I hike until I'm here because they are so small and it's better for me to make that effort instead of them."

Location: Omsk region, Russia

Some students reached new heights

to get cellular signal for online classes

Location: Araucania region, Chile

(SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) STUDENT, PAULINA ROMERO, SAYING:"It (2020) is a lost year, also with professional studies. So, I prefer to not lose years (of study). (Reporter: And if it rains?) It doesn't matter. I will keep on studying whatever the way."

Location: Central Java province, Indonesia

This teacher spends 6 hours a day reaching remote students

(SOUNDBITE) (Bahasa Indonesia) 57-YEAR-OLD SCHOOL TEACHER, HENRIKUS SUROTO, SAYING:"I'm a teacher, and it is my responsibility to do this. I must accompany and teach my students. If the students have no internet access then how can they learn? So I need to get to my students."

Community radio in Kenya kept refugees learning

Courtesy: UNHCR

Location: Dadaab refugee camp, Kenya

(SOUNDBITE) (English) AMINA ABDI, TEACHER, DADAAB REFUGEE CAMP, SAYING:"... the schools have been closed but education should go on and should not stop there."

This 13-year-old stepped up to educate those who fell behind

(SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) PALESTINIAN STUDENT FROM GAZA, FAJR HMAID, SAYING:"I wanted to bring them here and teach them, this is my talent. I have one girl in first grade, if she is absent from school for a period of time, she will forget how to hold the pen and how to write. So I wanted to help them develop and make sure they don't forget the information they had taken in school."

A TV show kept airing to reach millions of children

Location: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

(SOUNDBITE) (English) FOUNDER OF' TSEHAY LOVES LEARNING', BRUKTAWIT TIGABU, SAYING:"It gives us energy you know risking our lives to come to work and making sure literally 240 episodes are coming out within two months, so that we can reach up to 10 million children. That gives us the energy because we know that when the children get this content it might be the only educational content they got for the day."

Video Transcript

ANTONIO GUTERRES: The largest disruption of education ever. In mid-July, schools were closed in more than 160 countries, affecting over one billion students.

- I feel like 20 years from now, we'll be a history project.

ANA MASNIT: [SPEAKING ROMANIAN]

PAULINA ROMERO: [SPEAKING SPANISH]

HENRIKUS SUROTO: [SPEAKING BAHASA INDONESIAN]

AMINA ABDI: The schools have been closed, but the education should go on and should not stop to there.

FAJR HMAID: [SPEAKING ARABIC]

BRUKTAWIT TIGABU: It gives us energy, you know, risking our life to come to work and making sure literally 240 episodes are coming out within two months so that we can reach up to 10 million children. That gives us the energy, because we know that when the children get this content, it might be the only educational content they got for that day.