‘COVID-19 learning gaps impacting on vulnerable’

23Jan 2021
The Guardian Reporter
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
‘COVID-19 learning gaps impacting on vulnerable’

LEARNING innovations—including online classes—introduced during the Covid-19 pandemic mostly benefitted privileged learners and dashed hopes of vulnerable ones, says UN Secretary General António Guterres had declared.

In his message on this year’s International Day of Education usually marked on January 24, Guterres said when education is interrupted it affects everyone, in particular students, teachers and families.

The message released yesterday by the UN Information Centre in Dar es Salaam quoted the world’s top civil servant saying that on the third International Day of Education, tribute is directed to resilience by these affected groups “in the face of a pandemic that, at its peak, forced almost every school, institute and university to close its doors.”

 “Although this disruption has led to learning innovations, it has also dashed hopes of a brighter future among vulnerable populations,” he stated, noting that when such disruptions happen, “all of us pay the price.”

“After all education is the foundation for expanding opportunities, transforming economies, fighting intolerance, protecting the planet and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

“As the world continues to battle the pandemic, education – as a fundamental right and a global public good – must be protected to avert a generational catastrophe,” he emphasised.

“Even before the pandemic, some 258 million children and adolescents were out of school, the majority of them girls,” the message underlined, citing the fact that more than half of 10-year-olds in low- and middle-income countries were not learning to read a simple text.

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