9.9 C
Sunday, December 10, 2023
HealthShutting school systems, wrong response to COVID-19, UNICEF says

Shutting school systems, wrong response to COVID-19, UNICEF says

News mostly coming from official institutions (officialinstitutions)

“What we have learned about schooling during the time of COVID is clear: the benefits of keeping schools open, far outweigh the costs of closing them, and nationwide closures of schools should be avoided at all costs”, Robert Jenkins, UNICEF Global Chief of Education, said in a statement. 

Closing schools did not help in the fight against COVID-19, but simply removed a system that provides children with support, food and safety as well as learning, UNICEF said. Instead of shutting them, governments should prioritize school reopening and make classrooms as safe as possible.

Don’t scapegoat schools 

“Evidence shows that schools are not the main drivers of this pandemic. Yet, we are seeing an alarming trend whereby governments are once again closing down schools as a first recourse rather than a last resort. In some cases, this is being done nationwide, rather than community by community, and children are continuing to suffer the devastating impacts on their learning, mental and physical well-being and safety”, Mr. Jenkins said. 

© UNICEF/Brian Otieno

A young Kenyan girl studies at home in Nairobi during the COVID-19 pandemic.

November saw a 38 per cent jump in the number of children affected by school closures, UNICEF said, after a big wave of reopenings the previous month. 

“In spite of everything we have learned about COVID-19, the role of schools in community transmission, and the steps we can take to keep children safe at school, we are moving in the wrong direction – and doing so very quickly”, the top education official added. 

Expanding access

Reopening plans must include expanded access to education, including remote learning, and rebuilding education systems to withstand future crises, UNICEF said.   

The agency cited a recent study using data from 191 countries, published by the independent non-profit foundation, Insights for Education, which showed no association between school status and COVID-19 infection rates in the community.  

The UN agency, together with the UN educational agency UNESCO, the refugee agency UNHCR, the UN World Food Programme and the World Bank, has published a Framework for Reopening Schools, with practical advice covering areas such as policy reform, financing requirements, safe operations and reaching the most marginalized children, who are the most likely to drop out of school altogether.

DISCLAIMER: Information and opinions reproduced in the articles are the ones of those stating them and it is their own responsibility. Publication in The European Times does not automatically means endorsement of the view, but the right to express it.

DISCLAIMER TRANSLATIONS: All articles in this site are published in English. The translated versions are done through an automated process known as neural translations. If in doubt, always refer to the original article. Thank you for understanding.

- Advertisement -

More from the author

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Must read

Latest articles

- Advertisement -