The increase in covid cases in the world, spurred by the extension of the omicron variant, should not translate into the closure of schools , something that would be “disastrous for children,” the director of UNICEF, Henrietta Fore, warned this Friday.
UNICEF warns of the damage that the pandemic has caused to children
In a statement issued, Fore recalled that many governments around the world are considering whether to close schools to interrupt the transmission of the virus, and recalled that previous closures “have swept decades of educational progress and have made childhood unrecognizable. ” .
“They must be the last place to be closed”
The closure of schools has exposed the lack of resources in many places , both for students and teachers, as well as the inequality in connectivity; Going further, it has resulted in more serious phenomena, such as child labor, child marriage and psychological problems, Fore recalled.
The school provides safety , daily interactions with friends, access to basic health services and, too often, provides the only nutritious meal of the day for many students, UNICEF recalled.
In short, mitigation measures must be privileged within schools, which have proven their effectiveness , while investing in digital connectivity so that no child is marginalized.
“Schools should be the last place to close , and the first to reopen … 2022 cannot be another year of interrupted learning,” concludes the UNICEF director.