This Visual Essay is part 1 of a two-part animated series commissioned by the Philanthropy Initiative with Employees of Allan Gray. In South Africa, the Covid-19 pandemic is eroding the learning gains made in public schools over the past two decades. Inequality is widening, and there will be social and economic implications far into the future if we don't act swiftly to ensure every child's right to learn. To respond strategically, understanding the state of education going into the pandemic is critical. This video aims to contribute to this understanding.