Children are still out of school
Aurora is back at school after almost a year and a half of learning from home. “I’m happy to be back in school,” she says. “I’m happy to meet my friends again.”
More than 18 months into the pandemic, schools remained completely closed for nearly 77 million students worldwide.
In Indonesia, schools were closed until September 2021, affecting millions of students and teachers. Today, the country’s capital, Jakarta, has reopened schools at 50 per cent capacity as COVID restrictions ease.
However, children worldwide are facing a third year of disruption to their education. More than 156 million students are still affected by full school closures in 19 countries, and millions more affected by partial closures.
The consequences of school closures – learning loss, mental distress, missed vaccinations, and heightened risk of drop out, child labour, and child marriage – will be felt by many children, especially the youngest learners in critical development stages.
Even here in Australia, children in some states have had their education disrupted for more than 39 weeks.
UNICEF is calling on decision-makers and governments to safely reopen schools as soon as possible – and keep them open – to avoid a generational catastrophe. Our teams support children around the world with remote learning and make sure classrooms are safe for their return.