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25 Million Children May Never Return to Schools: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres

Millions of children are still out of school, increasing their vulnerability to violence and mental stress, said UN General Secretary (Image by Shutterstock / Representational)

Millions of children are still out of school, increasing their vulnerability to violence and mental stress, said UN General Secretary (Image by Shutterstock / Representational)

The pandemic has also increased the children’s vulnerability to violence and mental stress as they remain out of school.

As millions of children remain out of school due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the world is facing an education crisis, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres tweeted on Sunday.

He took to his official Twitter handle and wrote, “156 million students are still affected by school closures due to COVID-19, and 25 million may never return.” He also added that the world needs an effective pandemic recovery that requires investment in teachers, digital learning, and systems fit to meet such challenges in future.

The pandemic has also increased the children’s vulnerability to violence and mental stress as they remain out of school. In an earlier tweet, Guterres wrote, “Millions of children are still out of school, increasing their vulnerability to violence and mental stress, while support services have been cut or moved online.” He said that children’s mental well-being must be a priority in the Covid-19 recovery plan.

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According to the latest data from Johns Hopkins University’s Coronavirus Resource Center, the overall global COVID-19 cases have reached 198.1 million, while the death toll has raised to more than 4.22 million. However, over 4.11 billion people have been vaccinated by now. The exact figure of Covid-19 cases across the world stood at 198,175,138, while the death toll and vaccination tally stood at 4,221,996 and 4,110,644,112, respectively.

The Covid-19 outbreak has affected the lives of people across the world, especially the health and education system. The schools, colleges and other educational institutes have been closed for more than a year. Students are not used to online education or digital learning, and there is also a lack of internet connectivity in several areas, creating a barrier in studies.

Meanwhile, COVID-19 has also increased the climate crisis, as well as acute food insecurity in 23 ‘hunger hotspots’ which are of grave concern. It is being expected that these hunger hotspots will face an acute level of food insecurity over the next four months due to the combined economic repercussions of COVID-19, the climate crisis and fighting.

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first published:August 02, 2021, 12:42 IST