Schools should be restored as soon as possible – she called in the UNICEF report, referring to the COVID-19 pandemic and the introduced restrictions. The organization said schools have been closed almost completely since the outbreak of the pandemic in 17 countries.
According to a UNICEF report published on Thursday, more than three-quarters of the time, over 131 million students worldwide have not taken normal lessons in 18 months since the global pandemic began. Most of these children are in the Philippines, where the school year formally started this week, but schools are closed as the country is battling the SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Among the 17 countries where schools remain almost completely closed are the Philippines, Bangladesh, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, Panama and Kuwait. The number of students in these countries reaches 77 million.
The educational crisis continues, and it deepens with each passing day that classes remain closed. This is a crisis the world cannot ignore
The authors of the UNICEF report indicated that teachers should be given priority, after medical workers, when vaccinating against COVID-19. Although students are safer at home during a pandemic, distance education poses many challenges for them, especially with access to computers and the Internet. In the Philippines, some children were forced to climb onto rooftops to get online.
“The educational crisis continues and deepens with each day that classes remain closed,” said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore. “This is a crisis the world cannot ignore,” she added. She stressed that in any society, everywhere, schools must start up again as soon as possible.
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte in June this year, to calls to open schools in certain regions, replied that “he must not risk the health of his children.”