Across the world 800 million children are still not fully back in school, Unicef is warning, with many at risk of never returning to the classroom the longer closures go on. There are at least 90 countries where schools are either closed or offering a mix of remote and in-person learning.
The UN agency’s chief of education, Robert Jenkins, told the Guardian that the closures are part of “unimaginable” disruption to children’s education.
“I didn’t imagine the scale of the closures when schools shut last year, and I didn’t imagine it going on for so long. In all our scenario planning for disruption, this possibility was never raised,” he says.
“At the peak of the pandemic 1.6 billion children were not in school and here we are, a year later, and 800 million are still suffering partially or fully disrupted education.
“There are a lot of lessons that need to be drawn, and one is the impact that prolonged school closures have on children.”
A new Covid-19 Global Education Recovery Tracker from Unicef, the World Bank and Johns Hopkins University is monitoring closures across the world, analysing where children are learning at home or at school.
Humanitarian organisations say the closures have contributed to a range of increasing abuses and degradation of children’s rights across the world, from increasing use of child labour to a rise in child marriages, often in communities were children already struggled to access education.
Read full report on The Guardian