Coronavirus pandemic has disrupted the education of 3 crore 70 lakh children in Bangladesh for more than a year and a half. According to a UNICEF survey, more than 63 crore 50 lakh students worldwide have been affected by the pandemic due to the complete or partial closure of schools worldwide.
On International Education Day and two years after the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, UNICEF released the latest data on the impact of the pandemic on children's education.
The Bangladesh government has announced the closure of schools from January 23 to February 6, 2022 due to the resurgence of coronavirus infection.
UNICEF representative in Bangladesh Sheldon Yate said: "In order to deal with the Covid-19, the school must be closed on a temporary basis as a last resort. Among the steps we are taking to tackle the tide of infection, schools should be the last to close and the first to open. ”
UNICEF's head of education, Robert Janeconsi, said: Simply put, we are seeing almost irreparable damage to children's education, but this barrier to learning needs to be removed, and reopening schools alone is not enough. Students need intensive support to overcome the loss of learning. In order to restore the mental and physical health, social development and nutrition of the children, the schools have to go beyond the prescribed limits of teaching. '
According to a UNICEF survey, 70 per cent of 10-year-olds in the low- and middle-income countries have not been able to read or understand simple text books due to the loss of education due to school closures, 53 per cent more than before the pandemic.
UNICEF says children have lost basic counting and literacy skills due to school closures during the pandemic. Globally, disruption of learning means that millions of children have been significantly deprived of the academic education they could have had if they had been in the classroom, where younger and more marginalized children have suffered the most.
UNICEF estimates that Ethiopian primary school children have learned only 30 to 40 percent of the mathematics they could have learned in a normal school year.
In several Brazilian provinces, 3 out of 4 children in grade 2 have deviated from reading skills which was one in every two children before the pandemic. In the country, 1 in 10 students aged 10-15 reported. They have no plans to return to school after reopening their school. In Texas 2021, two-thirds of Grade 3 children had poor math skills for their grades. In 2019, this rate was half that of children.
In the United States, there has been a loss of education in many states, including Texas, California, Colorado, Tennessee, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia and Maryland.
In South Africa, schoolchildren are 75 to 100 percent behind in the school year. Between March 2020 and July 2021, about 4 to 5 lakh students dropped out of school.
School closures affect the mental health of children as well as the loss of education, reduce their regular sources of nutrition and increase their risk of bullying.
A UNICEF study found that Covid-19 caused high levels of anxiety and depression among children and young people, with a higher rate among adolescents and children living in rural areas.
UNICEF also said that more than 37 core children worldwide were deprived of school meals during school closures, which is the only reliable source of food and daily nutrition for some children and they lose it.