The UN has warned on Tuesday that the world is amid the ‘largest disruption to education in history’ as the coronavirus pandemic continues to smash the global normalcy.
launching the new ‘Save our Future’ campaign, the UN chief highlighted the present condition of the global education system, which per UN tally has detached 1 billion students globally from education, some way or the ther.
“As the world faces unsustainable levels of inequality, we need education – the great equalizer – more than ever,” U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a video message.
“We must take bold steps now, to create inclusive, resilient, quality education systems fit for the future.”
Globally, the education system is one of the most hard-hit by the pandemic. Being public places, schools, colleges and universities around the world were shut off mid-July to stop the spread of the virus.
Guterres said, at least 40 million children have missed on pre-schools, excluding the 250 million children already missing out on schools since the pre-COVID days; a quarter of secondary school students in the developing world left schools only with basic skills, Reuters reports.
“Now we face a generational catastrophe that could waste untold human potential, undermine decades of progress, and exacerbate entrenched inequalities,” said Mr Guterres.
“The knock-on effects on child nutrition, child marriage and gender equality, among others, are deeply concerning.”
The UN has suggested key actions plans in the policy brief highlighting countries around the world must make it a priority to re-open education centers as soon as local transmission gets under control.
UN recommendations on getting education back on track come amid US President’s increasing push to re-open school districts around across America while the nation battles the largest outbreak of the pandemic in the world. President Trump faces opposition from parents teachers and state governments.
In India, the nation’s statutory education body University Grants Commission (UGC) came in strife with several Indian states over an order directing universities across India must conduct final semester exams via online, offline or mixed-mode by September end.
The Indian education system was severely stirred since the nation went into complete lockdown in March. Many state governments including Delhi, West Bengal among 12 other states and Union Territories have pleaded the Supreme Court to scrap UGC’s directive for this year and that results may be prepared based on internal evaluation of the past semesters.
Supreme court hearing is adjourned for August 10th.
The UN chief recommended “education budgets need to be protected and increased,” investment in digital literacy and infrastructure,” and invest in digital technology as well as address gender-specific changes faced by students around the world.
(Cover image courtesy of © UNICEF/Daniele Volpe via https://news.un.org/)