COVID-19: UNICEF Says Millions Of Children Impacted By School Closures

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The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has disclosed that over 616 million students globally remain affected by complete or partial school closures amid the current COVID-19 pandemic.

However, UNICEF Chief of Education Robert Jenkins says while learning disruptions must end, reopening schools is not enough.

“Students need intensive support to recover lost education. Schools must also go beyond places of learning to rebuild children’s mental and physical health, social development and nutrition,” Jenkins stated.

According to UNICEF, children have lost basic numeracy and literacy skills.

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The UN Agency has disclosed that globally, disruption to education has meant millions of children have significantly missed out on the academic learning they would have acquired if they had been in the classroom.

UNICEF said younger and more marginalised children faced the most significant loss.

It explained that in low- and middle-income countries, learning losses to school closures have left up to 70 percent of 10-year-olds unable to read or understand a simple text, up from 53 percent pre-pandemic.

“Follow-on consequences of school closures are on the rise. In addition to learning loss, school closures have impacted children’s mental health, reduced their access to a regular source of nutrition, and increased their risk of abuse,” UNICEF observed.

The organisation also pointed to evidence showing that COVID-19 has caused high rates of anxiety and depression among children and young people.

Some studies have found that girls, adolescents, and those living in rural areas are most likely to experience these problems.

According to UNICEF, more than 370 million children globally missed out on school meals during school closures.

As a result, some missed their only liable source of food and daily nutrition.

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Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
Our Editorial Staff at St. Lucia Times is a team publishing news and other articles to over 200,000 regular monthly readers in Saint Lucia and in over 150 other countries worldwide.

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