UNICEF spokesman says it was a terrible mistake to throw open bars and pubs first, instead of educational institutions
The United Nations has urged for the immediate reopening of schools closed owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, saying the future of 600 million children was at stake here.
At a press meet in Geneva on July 27, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) spokesman James Elder said, “Schools should be the last to close and the first to reopen…. Reopening schools cannot wait for all teachers and students to be vaccinated.”
Elder added that it was a terrible mistake to throw open bars and pubs first, instead of educational institutions. The UN suggested that governments should secure their education budget despite the economic hardship faced during the pandemic.
Around 40% children are out of school in eastern and southern Africa, which estimates into 32 million students, who left school due to pandemic-related closure or failed to return after classrooms reopened. Around 37 million children had already dropped out of school before the COVID-19 situation emerged.
The UN noted that schools in nearly half of the countries in Asia and the Pacific have been closed for more than 200 days in view of the pandemic.
Elder informed that 18 countries and territories in South America and the Caribbean have either completely or partially closed their schools. “Education, safety, friends and food have been replaced by anxiety, violence, and teenage pregnancy,” he stressed.
According to UNICEF, one-third of students have no access to remote learning systems around the world. Around 80 million children in Southeast Asia and Pacific cannot access remote learning as schools are closed.
Elder also cited a World Bank study which noted that the pandemic will cost nearly $10 trillion in income loss for the current generation of students.
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