Another year of school closure to spell disaster: Unicef

Observerbd

Children cannot afford another year of school disruption with the world entering the second year of the Covid-19 pandemic, said Unicef  Executive Director Henrietta Fore in a statement on Tuesday.
“As we enter the second year of the Covid-19 pandemic, and as cases continue to sour around the world, no effort should be spared to keep schools open or prioritise them in reopening plans,” said Fore.
“Despite overwhelming evidence of the impact of school closure on children, and despite increasing evidence that schools are not drivers of the pandemic, too many countries have opted to keep schools closed, some for nearly a year.
“The cost of closing schools, which at the peak of pandemic lockdowns affected 90 percent of students worldwide and left more than a third of schoolchildren with no access to remote education, has been devastating.
The number of out-of-school children is set to increase by 24 million, to a level we have not seen in years and have fought so hard to overcome.
“Children’s ability to read, write and do basic math has suffered, and the skills they need to thrive in the 21st century economy have diminished. Their health, development, safety and well-being are at risk, the most vulnerable among them will bear the heaviest brunt.”
That is why closing schools must be a measure of last resort, after all other options have been considered. If children are faced with another year of school closures, the effects will be felt for generations to come,” Unicef  Executive Director added.

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