The United Nations agency, UNICEF has said that the COVID pandemic has caused an education crisis worldwide, that has ceased the classroom education of more than 77 million children for the last 18 months. UN News reported that the UNICEF has closed down it’s social media channels for 18 hours on Thursday, in order to send a message to the world: to reopen schools for in-person learning for the students promptly.
In 18 countries, 117 million students are still being affected by the total closure of the schools. UNICEF stated that the number of countries with partially open schools has reduced to 41 from 52 by now. UNICEF added that the right to go to school is of greatest importance for the well-being, safety, and development of a child. In most of the countries having lengthy school closures, education to children have been provided through online mediums, televisions and even radio lessons. Although many countries have opened many of their social spaces like restaurants, salons and gymnasiums, the classrooms remain closed for the students.
UNICEF shared the concern that this generation of children and youth cannot afford any more educational disruptions. New statistics from the UN has revealed that 539 million pre-primary and secondary level students have already started in-person education throughout 117 countries. This represents 35 percent of the student population in total worldwide.
UN and it’s agencies like UNESCO and UNICEF advocated for the safe reopening of the schools. The complete closure of schools is to be used as a last measure. UNICEF also emphasised the losses in education sector due to the increased dropout rates and the impacts that lockdown has caused on the most vulnerable students in the last two academic years.