L'Express: How the pandemic is having a lasting effect on children's education worldwide


Published on 28/08/2020 by Céline Delbecque, in L'Express

Photo credit: Aide et Action

According to lUnicef, lThe impact of Covid on lThe education of children is "huge": at least 24 million children are in school.lThe students will never return to lThe school, says ls organization.

Schools closed, Internet access limited, confinement... Beyond its health consequences, the coronavirus is far from having facilitated ls early childhood education around the world. According to a study published by lUnicef WednesdayIn the wake of the crisis, the evidence is clear: some 463 million children were unable to receive an education during the crisis because they were unable to do so virtually.

At the height of the lockdown, around 1.5 billion schoolchildren were affected by school closures, lUnicef calls it a "global education emergency". "The repercussions could be felt in economies and societies for decades to come," warned Henrietta Fore, Executive Director of ls organization, in a press release.

"More than 90% of the world's student population no longer goes to school. lThis crisis has therefore aggravated an already considerable situation of school drop-out in the world: before the crisis, one child in five was not in school," she said. "This crisis has therefore aggravated an already considerable situation of school drop-out in the world: before the crisis, one child in five was not in school," she told L'Express.

LThe impact on lThe importance of early childhood education around the world is considerable," says Charles-Emmanuel Ballanger, International Managing Director of lThe association Aide et Action. "It is absolutely necessary that developing countries spend at least 20% of their national budget on lHe also called on France to respect its commitments in terms of "development aid". These budgets must not be cut under any circumstances", he pleaded, urging France to respect its commitments in terms of "development aid".

Risk of non-return to lSchool

The report of lThe report is based on data collected from around 100 countries on ls access to the Internet.ls Internet access, TV and radio.lThe results of the study, which was carried out by the television and radio stations, show that lhe education provided on these platforms during the school closures was far from being taken up by all students. As many as 80 million children in the Pacific were left without an education and lAsia of l147 million in South Asia, more than 67 million in East Africa, and more than lThe number of people living in the East and South of the country is estimated at 13 million, and the number of people living in Latin America and the Caribbean is estimated at 13 million.

Faced with the glaring inequalities between the continents, the majority of the world's governments are not prepared to accept this.lIn his view, the real figures could be much higher: among the children who have had access to the Internet, "many have not been able to study because of pressures at home, especially regarding household chores. According to him, the real figures could even be much higher: among the children who had access to the Internet, "many were unable to study because of pressures at home, particularly regarding household chores, outdoor work or lack of family support.

Worse: lThe abrupt termination of their schooling may result in a failure to return to school. lMany children are forced to work to support their families. " LThe concern is spreading, especially for young girls, who will be the last to return to school. lThis is the first time we have seen a school in a crisis," he says. According to estimates made by the Malala Fund for lEducationwhich builds on the lessons learned from lAs a result of the Ebola epidemic, ten million school-age girls may never return to school. ls school. Farah Malek-Bakouche, for her part, mentions the figure of "24 million children" in total, specifying that this number is "certainly underestimated".

"There is also a risk of a return to all possible forms of trafficking, particularly prostitution for young girls. During this type of crisis, traffickers of all kinds come to put pressure on families, in order to take advantage of their economic precariousness", worries Charles-Emmanuel Ballanger. "There are insidious impacts, with a very likely increase in the number of early pregnancies or early marriages, greater exposure to physical, sexual and mental violence, less access to lThis is the reason why the European Union has been so active in the field of health and nutrition, as well as having a strong impact on mental health," says Farah Malek-Bakouche.

"Enlargement of ls access to lEducation

The lack of education for children will also have "long-term" economic consequences for the countries concerned, says Charles-Emmanuel Ballanger. "Studies of lUnesco studies have shown that when the average educational attainment of students is increased by one grade, the result is a higher level of education.lIf a country's children are educated, the GDP of that country increases by one to two points," he says. "To put it simply, the most educated children become more active citizens," Farah Malek-Bakouche summarises.

In order to avoid too many consequences for the most affected countries, the Advocacy Officer at lUnicef suggests a number of avenues that should be part of "a broad-based effort that relies on a broad investment and awareness of lThe importance of lThis is the first time that the government has taken a stand against the 'education of children'. LUnicef is therefore urging governments to prioritise the safe reopening of schools when restrictions on confinement are eased. And where this is not possible, lThe agency calls on governments to integrate lThis is the only way to compensate for lost teaching time in the continuity and reopening of schools.

"School opening policies and practices should include lThe enlargement of the ls access to lThe education sector, including lThis is particularly true for marginalised groups. Education systems also need to be adapted and built to withstand future crises," the UN fund says. "The support of governments is crucial," concludes Charles-Emmanuel Ballanger, who is concerned about "cuts" in budgets for education. lThe risk is to try to restart the education system. "The risk is to try to re-launch ls economy by stripping out the financing linked to lThis must never happen," he says. "This must not happen under any circumstances.

Link to the article.

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