Around 10 million children worldwide may never return to school after the coronavirus pandemic in an “unprecedented education emergency,” British charity Save the Children said Monday.
The economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 crisis could force some 100 million more children into poverty, the organization said in a new report, Save our Education.
“Around 10 million children may never return to school — this is an unprecedented education emergency and governments must urgently invest in learning,” Save the Children chief executive Inger Ashing said.
“For the first time in human history, an entire generation of children globally have had their education disrupted,” Save the Children added.
Schools worldwide were shut for months as the coronavirus pandemic threatened humanity, forcing people to stay home.
“If we allow this education crisis to unfold, the impact on children’s futures will be long lasting,” Ashing said.
“We know the poorest, most marginalized children who were already the furthest behind have suffered the greatest loss, with no access to distance learning — or any kind of education — for half an academic year,” Ashing added.
Save the Children urged government worldwide to invest in a new global education plan to help children gain access to education. The plan involves ensuring that children can go back to school once the pandemic ends, and have access to distance learning as it continues.