About 140 million primary school students have to postpone the start of their new school year for the time being, although the summer holidays are almost over in many parts of the world.
UN agency UNICEF warned on Tuesday about these school closures as a result of the ongoing corona pandemic.
In 2020, schools worldwide were closed for an average of 79 days. For 168 million children, schools were closed for almost the entire year after the start of the pandemic. A large proportion of these children now also have to deal with school interruptions in the second consecutive year.
According to the aid organisation, this leads to learning disadvantages and, for example, to an increase in child labour and child marriage. There is also an increase in mental problems among young people, and many children miss the vaccinations they normally receive at school.
Many countries have taken measures to improve distance education. But for at least 29 percent of the world’s school-aged children, distance learning still proves impossible. This is often due to a lack of resources.
Moreover, the youngest children are often unable to follow digital education due to a lack of guidance or because they are forced to work in the (or outside) home.