by SAVIOUS KWINIKA & MARIA MACHARIA
AFRICA BUREAUS, (CAJ News) – ONE billion children and youth are now out of school globally as countries effect restrictions against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
The pandemic has forced over 110 countries to shut down their education systems.
This is on top of 258 million young people already not going to school in the long term.
Universities have also closed or are planning to shut doors in order to slow the spread of virus.
According to children’s welfare group, Theirworld, 13,5 million children were affected by the abrupt schools closure on Wednesday after President Cyril Ramaphosa declared the COVID-19 a national disaster.
In China, where the virus was first reported at the end of last year, 233 million children are out of school as part of the restrictive measures.
Justin van Fleet, Theirworld President, said, “During this unprecedented time, when health and safety is the top priority, we also need to ensure young people, especially the most vulnerable, do not stop learning.”
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) also raised concern at the impact of the school closures around the world.
“With millions of children uprooted, affected by wars, dying from preventable causes, out of school, or missing out on essential vaccines, the need for support has never been greater,” Henrietta Fore,
UNICEF Executive Director, said.
COVID-19 had claimed the lives of 8 979 people from 219 964 cases globally at the time of publication.
“These are uncharted waters for all of us,” Fore said.
– CAJ News