Nearly two years after the coronavirus pandemic, more than 635 million children globally are still affected by full or partial school closures, the United Nations said on Monday in a report calling obstacles to education is “almost insurmountable”.
The report from the United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF, says many of these children have lost basic math and literacy skills as a result of prolonged absences in the classroom.
In low- and middle-income countries, UNICEF says up to 70% of 10-year-olds cannot read or understand a simple text, up from 53% before the coronavirus outbreak to a pandemic in March 2020.
Notable data points in the report include Brazil, where 75% of second-graders in some states are poorly read, compared with 50% before the pandemic; and South Africa, where students arrive at school a year later than they should.
In the United States, the report said, states including California, Colorado, Maryland, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia reported that two-thirds of their third-graders scored below grade level in the subject. accounting last year, compared with half in 2019.
Robert Jenkins, education director for UNICEF, said in the report: “Very simply, we are looking at the magnitude of the almost insurmountable loss to children’s schooling. “While the disruption of learning must end, just reopening schools is not enough. Students need active support to restore their lost education.”
Globally, the report said, “educational disruption has meant that millions of children have significantly missed out on the learning they would get if they were in classrooms in which younger children and The more disadvantaged face the greatest loss”.
Despite efforts to mitigate the impact of school closures with distance learning, that solution is impractical or improbable when families lack internet access and home computers. And many students in low-income countries do not return to the classroom even when schools reopen.
In the first day of this month in Ugandawhere schools reopened for the first time since the pandemic began, educators estimate that up to a third of students, who have taken up jobs to help struggling families Theirs, probably won’t return.
Education is one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, a standard set by the United Nations to help measure fundamental improvements in people’s lives. According to the UN’s Department of Economic and Social Affairs, which monitors each target on its website, coronavirus has “obliterated educational achievement in 20 years.”
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/24/world/americas/covid-19-education-unicef.html The United Nations says Covid’s obstacles to school attendance are ‘near insurmountable.