People in Singapore are having fewer children nowadays (file photo). Photograph:( AFP )
Talking about how some countries have reopened bars and restaurants, Elder said it is a 'terrible mistake' that the countries have still not opened schools
As coronavirus pandemic surges on with new variants, the United Nations has urged countries to reopen all schools that had been closed due to the Covid pandemic.
"This cannot go on," said James Elder, spokesman for the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), adding that closing of schools in pandemic has led to putting the education of more than 600 million children at stake.
Talking about how some countries have reopened bars and restaurants, Elder said it is a "terrible mistake" that the countries have still not opened schools.
"Reopening schools cannot wait for all teachers and students to be vaccinated," he said, adding that the government should be working on saving their education budgets even when the economy is suffering hardship due to the pandemic.
Even though he acknowledged that governments all over the world have had to make tough choices in the pandemic, he said schools should be the last institute to be closed and first to be reopened.
As per official data, nearly 40 per cent of children in eastern and southern Africa are out of school currently. More than 32 million children have been estimated to be out of school due to Covid related issues in the whole region and many have even failed to return to classrooms even when schools reopened. This is in addition to the 37 million children who were already struggling to report to school even before the coronavirus pandemic.
Elder also added that sadly "education, safety, friends and food have been replaced by anxiety, violence, and teenage pregnancy" all over the world