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As COVID-19 shuttered schools around the world

Posted by Letswalo M Community Manager on 28 August 2020 10:55 AM CAT
Letswalo M Community Manager photo

As COVID-19 shuttered schools around the world, around 1.5 billion schoolchildren were affected. Governments have responded by enacting remote learning policies but at least 1 in 3 schoolchildren – 463 million children worldwide – were unable to access remote learning, effectively cutting them off from education and putting their development at risk, according to a new UNICEF report released today.

The situation is likely even worse than the data suggest. Despite remote learning policies in place and the necessary tools such as a computer and internet access at home, many children may be unable to learn due to pressure to do chores or because their teachers are unfamiliar with remote learning methods.

Children and youth in every corner of the world have been affected, but school closures have hit those living in the poorest households and in rural areas particularly hard. Globally, more than 70 per cent of children who could not be reached by remote learning policies live in the poorest households, and 3 in 4 live in rural areas. 

The scale at which children have missed out on learning constitutes a global education emergency, with the repercussions likely to be felt for decades. UNICEF is calling on governments to keep all children learning during school closures and to prioritize opening schools safely. Understanding the profile of children who are being left out is crucial for governments to be able to make decisions that will ensure more children learn during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

Link to the report: https://data.unicef.org/resources/remote-learning-reachability-factsheet/

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