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UNICEF warns: Another wave of school closures will be catastrophic for children

Amman Today

publish date 2021-12-17 21:14:12

The Compass – The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has warned that another wave of school closures “would be catastrophic” for children, amid increasing uncertainty as the number of coronavirus cases rises worldwide.
In a statement issued Friday, UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore noted that cases of COVID-19 are rising again around the world, increasingly driven by the spread of a new omicron variant that public health experts and scientists are working to understand.

Fore was quoted by the UN News Center as saying: “Amid increasing uncertainty, several governments are considering whether to keep schools open. One thing we know for sure: Another wave of widespread school closures would be disastrous for children.
She noted that the evidence is clear and highlights that prolonged school closures nationwide; limited resources for students, teachers, and parents; and a lack of access to education. All of this undoes decades of progress in education, and the shadow pandemic of child labor, child marriage, and mental health issues spreads.

“In addition to the learning lost, children have also lost the safety of school, daily personal interactions with friends, access to health care, and often their only meal of the day,” Fore said. Lifetime potential earnings.
A report on education during the pandemic by UNICEF, UNESCO and the World Bank found that while nearly all countries have offered distance learning opportunities to students, the quality and reach of these initiatives has remained uneven, which will cost the current generation about $17 trillion in lifetime revenue.

The report shows that the proportion of children living in educational poverty in low-income and middle-income countries, which was 53 percent before the pandemic, may reach 70 percent due to school closures.
For these reasons, nationwide school closures should be avoided whenever possible, and when transmission of COVID-19 in the community increases and strict public health measures become a necessity, schools should be the last location to close and the first place to reopen, explaining, “We know School transmission control measures are effective and we must use this knowledge to do everything we can to keep schools open.”
Fore also called for increased investments in digital connectivity to ensure that no child was left behind, and said at the conclusion of the statement: “The year 2022 cannot be another year of disrupted learning. It should be the year in which education and the interests of children take precedence.”

(Petra)

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Jordan News

Source : اخبار الاردن

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