UN chief warns of 'generational catastrophe' due to school closures

Tuesday 1441/12/14 - 2020/08/04
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New York, Aug 4, 2020, SPA -- The coronavirus pandemic has led to the largest disruption of education ever, dpa cited United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres as saying on Tuesday, warning that the world faces a "generational catastrophe." "In mid-July, schools were closed in more than 160 countries, affecting over 1 billion students," Guterres said in a video message.
School shutdowns have impacted 94 per cent of the world's student population, up to 99 per cent in low and lower-middle income countries, according to the UN. "We face a generational catastrophe that could waste untold human potential, undermine decades of progress, and exacerbate entrenched inequalities," Guterres said.
"The knock-on effects on child nutrition, child marriage and gender equality, among others, are deeply concerning." Saying it was a "defining moment" for children and young people, the UN chief launched a policy brief that urges governments to get students back to school as safely as possible; to protect and increase education budgets; and to reach minority groups, displaced people and those with disabilities with education initiatives.
Guterres also said there was "a generational opportunity to reimagine education," such as through investment in digital literacy and by drawing on flexible delivery methods and modernized curricula.
--SPA
23:48 LOCAL TIME 20:48 GMT
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