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School Closure Amid Corona

Edn of 37m children in Bangladesh disrupted

  • Staff Correspondent
  • 25 January, 2022 12:00 AM
  • Print news
Edn of 37m children in Bangladesh disrupted

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Prolonged closure of schools during the pandemic has disrupted education of around 37 million children in Bangladesh. 

The schools remained closed for 543 days, the longest span of time in the world, says a press release.

The schools were closed on March 17, 2020 and reopened in September 12, 2021, but the government announced closure of the school afresh from January 23 to February 6, 2022.

On the International Day of Education and ahead of the two-year mark of COVID-19 pandemic, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) shared the latest data on the impact of the pandemic on children’s learning.

Terming schools as one of the most important institutions, UNICEF Representative to Bangladesh Sheldon Yett said closure of schools affect student’s life severely.

“Closing schools must be a temporary measure of last resort in the COVID-19 response. Schools should be among the last institutions to close, and among the first to reopen, as we put in measures to tackle infection waves,” he said.

UNICEF chief of Education Robert Jenkins said, “In March, we will mark two years of COVID-19-related disruptions to global education. Quite simply, we are looking at a nearly insurmountable scale of loss to children’s schooling.”

“While the disruptions to learning must end, just reopening schools is not enough. Students need intensive support to recover lost education. Schools must also go beyond places of learning to rebuild children’s mental and physical health, social development and nutrition,” he added.   More than 635 million students remain affected by full or partial school closures, reads the press statement.

Children have lost basic numeracy and literacy skills. Globally, disruption to education has meant millions of children have significantly missed out on the academic learning they would have acquired if they had been in the classroom, with younger and more marginalised children facing the greatest loss, added the statement.

A growing body of evidence shows that Covid-19 has caused high rates of anxiety and depression among children and young people, with some studies finding that girls, adolescents and those living in rural areas are most likely to experience these problems.

More than 370 million children globally miss school meals during closures, losing what is for some children the only reliable source of food and daily nutrition.