Logo
15th-Jul-2020

We anyhow need to manage education for our children

By

DEEP budget cuts to education and rising poverty caused by the Covid-19 pandemic could force at least 9.7 million children out of school forever by the end of this year, with millions more falling behind in learning, Save the Children warned in a new report launched on July 13.
Girls are likely to be much worse affected than boys, with many forced into early marriage. As the impacts of the recession triggered by Covid-19 hits families, many children may be forced out of school and into labour markets.
The report reveals the devastating effects the Covid-19 outbreak is set to have on learning. In a mid-range budget scenario, the agency estimates that the recession will leave a shortfall of $77 billion in education spending in some of the poorest countries in the world over the next 18 months. In a worst-case scenario, under which governments shift resources from education to other Covid-19 response areas, that figure could climb to an astonishing $192 billion by the end of 2021.
In another 28 countries children are at moderate or high risk of not going back to school and of the longer-term effects of widening inequalities. In total, Save the Children estimates that some 9.7 million children could be forced out of school by the end of this year.
Many of the top-12 countries in the report's index already have high out of school rates and a sharp divide in school attendance along wealth and gender lines. These factors are likely to be exacerbated by school closures, with girls and children from poverty-stricken families being hardest hit.
Children in these countries are also caught in a vicious cycle of risk: they face greater risks of being forced into child labour and, adolescent girls are especially at risk of gender-based violence, child marriage and teenage pregnancy, which increases the longer they are out of school. The same risks directly impact their ability to return to school at all. Combined with the sharp decrease of education spending, the Covid-19 outbreak could be a cruel blow for millions of children.
Governments and donors should ensure that out-of-school children have access to distance learning, and to protection services. Those who return to school should be able to do so in a safe and inclusive way, with access to school meals and health services. Learning assessments and catch up classes must be adapted so that children can make up for their lost learning.
There should be an increased funding of education by all nations. National governments must make education a priority by producing and implementing Covid-19 education responses and recovery plans to ensure the most marginalised children are able to continue learning.