At least a third of world’s schoolchildren unable to access remote learning
The United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef) has reported that at least a third of the world’s schoolchildren – 463 million children globally – were unable to access remote learning when their schools were shut down due to COVID-19.
According to Unicef's _Remote Learning Reachability _report released on Thursday, at the height of nationwide and local lockdowns, nearly 1.5 billion schoolchildren were affected by school closures.
Unicef says the report highlights significant inequality across regions with school children in sub-Saharan Africa being the most affected as half of all pupils cannot be reached with remote learning.
Mandy Wiener spoke to Unicef regional director for Eastern and Southern Africa Mohamed Malick Fall to find out more.
The situation in sub-Saharan Africa is one of the most concerning, globally speaking. We have in the onset of the crisis 140 million children whose education was disrupted ... every form of distance learning was not reaching more than 60 to 63 million, leaving 75 million children in the region without any contact with the education services.Mohamed Malick Fall, Unicef regional director for Eastern and Southern Africa
This is a major concern because prior to Covid, education was already facing a lot of challenges in this region. In terms of access we had over 30 million children who could not attend school but even those who were attending school were also facing the challenge of poor learning outcomes or poor quality of education.Mohamed Malick Fall, Unicef regional director for Eastern and Southern Africa
The longer term risk and threat that we are facing is that we lose a generation of children - not only because they would miss a chance of going to school but even if they go back to school they might not be able to catch up with the time that they have lost and for some countries which have extended to opening next year, it could be much longer loss.Mohamed Malick Fall, Unicef regional director for Eastern and Southern Africa
This loss is not going to be just on education related matters but it can follow children for the rest of their life cycle. It can also impact on the economic development of countries because missing or losing a generation would represent a huge toll on the countries that are already struggling....Mohamed Malick Fall, Unicef regional director for Eastern and Southern Africa
Click on the link below to hear the full interview....
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