The Global Director of Education of UNICEF, Robert Jenkins, urged this Monday to prioritize the return of children to school "as societies are reopened" while calling for the recognition of the importance of the reopening of schools. educational centers in the recovery after the pandemic.
"We have to give priority to the reopening of schools, we have to ensure that these are at the center of the countries' recovery plans," Jenkins said during a debate organized by the European Parliament (EP) subcommittee on Human Rights.
In his intervention, Jenkins recalled that even before the pandemic the world was suffering "a learning crisis" with 53% of ten-year-old children in developing countries unable to read a simple text, but said that the crisis of coronavirus will exacerbate these problems.
“90% of the children have suffered interruptions in their education. There are still children who have not been able to enter a classroom for 18 months ”, warned the person in charge, who pointed out that one in three children in the world still does not have access to remote learning.
Likewise, he warned that up to 23 million children will not go back to school, as well as the social impact and on minors, their homes and communities that these minors will not return to school.
"This is obviously going to have an impact for their whole lives, but also on the communities in which they live (...) The world bank estimates the economic impact that this lack of learning could have at three trillion dollars," he stressed.
For this reason, Jenkins moved the recommendations of Unicef to start the de-escalation of schools that include, in addition to prioritizing the return to the classroom, increasing the education budget, launching initiatives to give additional support to children when they return to school and drive the transformation of schools by “taking advantage of innovative approaches” adopted at this time.