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Almost 10 million children may not return to school after the pandemic

On the background of the crisis associated with the spread of the coronavirus, in some countries drastically reduced education budgets and rising poverty, says Save the Children.

At least 9.7 million children around the world will never return to school after the coronavirus pandemic, the British non-governmental organization Save the Children suggests. In a new report published on Monday, July 13, it warns of the current “unprecedented global emergency in education.”

At the same time, the organization points to serious cuts in education budgets in a number of countries after the onset of the pandemic and growing poverty. In 12 countries around the world (in West and Central Africa, as well as in Yemen and Afghanistan), there is an “extremely high risk” that children will drop out of school permanently, while in another 28 countries there is a “moderate or high risk”.

Girls, in particular, will suffer

In all likelihood, girls will suffer significantly more than boys. At a time when educational institutions are closed, in a number of countries they are at risk of gender-based violence, the risk of early marriage and early pregnancy, the NGO warns. Many families will also be forced to take their children out of school for work, the report goes on to say.

Save the Children experts have called on governments and lenders to respond to global challenges in education and urgently invest in continuing to operate schools after months of forced closures. The organization also urged lenders to provide countries with low income the possibility to suspend the payment of the debt.

According to the organization, 1.6 billion children worldwide have been prevented from going to school due to the pandemic. However, despite the efforts of governments and humanitarian organizations, some 500 million school children did not have access to distance learning. Currently, more than one billion school children are still unable to attend classes due to restrictive measures in their countries, it is further indicated.

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