The Economist: School closures in poor countries could be devastating
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Children like Kevin, 11, listen to radio lessons at home while their primary schools are closed to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Rwanda. UNICEF/UNI319829/Kanobana

The economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has forced many children to abandon their studies in favor of work – undermining the progress that was achieved in decreasing the number of children in work around the world during the last two decades.

The impact of the pandemic on girls will be equally devastating. Girls are notably absent in countries that have reopened schools such as Vietnam and Cote d’Ivoire. Some of them are getting married and others are alredy pregnant.

The economic damage from children dropping out of school will be vast. According to the World Bank, if schools remain closed for five months, students will forgo US$10 trillion of future earnings.

Many governments are finding it hard to get children learning again, but some are making good progress. Education ministries in the eastern Caribbean are working with private telecoms providers to offer free internet for students and distribute mobile devices to the poorest. Rwanda will offer free lunches with the hopes of getting children back to school. Mozambique is giving girls sanitary products.

Read the full article in The Economist

Children like Kevin, 11, listen to radio lessons at home while their primary schools are closed to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Rwanda. UNICEF/UNI319829/Kanobana

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