Over the last year, the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted education for 1.6 billion students around the world
Students were disproportionately affected by Covid-related school closures, as not all children had the opportunities, equipment, or access to continue learning during the pandemic. For millions of youngsters, school closures will signal the end of their education rather than a brief interruption. To make education free and available to every child around the world, education should be at the heart of all governments’ recovery efforts.
Human Rights Watch said in a study released today that governments should act quickly to remedy the harm caused to children’s schooling as a result of the unprecedented disruption created by the Covid-19 outbreak. Human Rights Watch’s report was supplemented by an interactive component that looked at typical impediments to schooling that were exacerbated by the pandemic.
“With millions of children missing out on school as a result of the epidemic, now is the moment to improve protection of the right to education by establishing better, more equal, and robust education systems,” said Elin Martinez, senior education researcher at Human Rights Watch. “The goal should be to solve the deficiencies in systems that have long hindered schools from being open and inviting to all students, not only to return to how things were before the pandemic.”
As of May 2021, schools in 26 nations were closed nationwide, and schools in 55 countries were only partially open – either in specific places or for specific grade levels. According to UNESCO, the epidemic has affected the education of an estimated 90 percent of the world’s school-aged children. According to Human Rights Watch, school closures will not be a temporary interruption in pupils’ education, but rather the sudden end of it. Children have began working, married, and become parents; they have become disillusioned with schooling, concluded that they cannot catch up, or have reached the age where they are no longer eligible for free or compulsory education as promised by their country’s laws.