The United Nations Children’s Fund has said the closure of schools as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic will adversely affect the development, safety and well-being of children globally, noting that schools are not drivers of the viral disease.
UNICEF also cautioned that the effects of closing school for another year will have a negative impact on the coming generations.
The agency in a statement on Tuesday reiterated that despite a devastating proof that schools were not diffusers of the pandemic, steps have been taken to ensure that they remained shut.
“In the case of lockdowns, schools must be among the first to reopen once authorities start lifting restrictions.
“Catch-up classes should be prioritised to ensure that children who have been unable to learn remotely are not left behind.
“If children are faced with another year of school closures, the effects will be felt for generations to come,” UNICEF warned.
The UN agency noted that the number of out-of-school children is set to rise by 24 million to a level not yet seen in years and to a level it has fought so hard to overcome.