COVID-19: UNICEF Frowns At Unending School Closures
Fabenmedia Nigeria reports the reasons why UNICEF is Against school closures.
The closure of schools in “too many countries” on account of the COVID-19 pandemic has been decried by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)
The United Nations Children’s Fund agency said this to the public that the said Covid-19 Pandemic is not caused in way by the schools this was revealed in a statement on 12th Tuesday, 2021
The effects of continuous shutting down of schools in different countries is what UNICEF is Against as they also pointed out “overwhelming evidence” of the impact of school closures on children.
UNICEF is worried about the numbers of students that will drop out of school if the closure of schools persist. In their words, they warned that the number of out-of-school children was set to rise by 24 million “to a level we have not yet seen in years and have fought so hard to overcome” before now.
It noted the “devastating cost of school closures, which it said affected 90 per cent of students worldwide and denied a third of school children access to remote education.
“Children’s ability to read, write and do basic mathematics has suffered, and the skills they need to thrive in the 21st century economy have diminished.
“Their health, development, safety and well-being are at risk. The most vulnerable among them will bear the heaviest brunt.
“Without school meals, children are left hungry and their nutrition is worsening.
“Without daily interactions with their peers and a reduction in mobility, they are losing physical fitness and showing signs of mental distress,” the agency noted.
The agency added that school children were more vulnerable to abuse, child marriage and child labour in the absence of the safety that schools often provided.
This, UNICEF emphasised, is why shuttering schools must be a last resort after all other options have been exhausted.
Authorities must bother about the rates of transmitting the virus at the local level as a result, this must be the core focus on school activities
UNICEF is of the opinion that all schools mustn’t be shut down since some of them have adhered to the Covid-19 instructions and this will help in avoiding nation wide school closures.
The agency also disclosed that,
“Where there are high levels of community transmission, where health systems are under extreme pressure and where closing schools is deemed inevitable, safeguarding measures must be put in place to Protect the students.
“This includes ensuring that children who are at risk of violence in their homes, who are reliant upon school meals and whose parents are essential workers are able to continue their education in their classrooms.
Whenever the authorities decided to lift lockdown the schools should be the first priority to be considered to reopen.
“For Children that have not been able to learn remotely, they should give them catch up classes which will be very important to their Education.
“The effects of another year of school closures will be felt for generations to come,” by the Children concluded UNICEF.