26 January, 2023

More of 137 million children in Latin America and the Caribbean without returning to school

Photo: Courtesy UNICEF.
Editorial Dept. Voz de la Diaspora

More of 137 million children in Latin America and the Caribbean without returning to school due to the closure of schools due to the pandemic.

Children in Latin America and the Caribbean have missed an average of four times more days of school compared to the rest of the world as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, while more than 137 millions have not returned to school for the same reason, according to a new UNICEF report.

The United Nations agency said that in the region, more than 11 millions of people with the disease to date, most students are at risk of missing the entire school year due to difficulties arising from the health crisis, since a large part of the schools remain closed.

UNICEF said that more than a third of all countries in the area still do not have a date for the reopening of schools, despite the fact that in various parts of the world the gradual restart of face-to-face classes is underway.

UNICEF's Acting Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, Bernt Aasen argued that under the circumstances “… it is possible that millions of the most vulnerable students will not return to school”, which worsens with the economic difficulties of their families, lack of adequate infrastructure to study, and limited access to technology.

"For those without computers, no internet or even a place to study, learning from home has become an overwhelming challenge ”, he added.

Photo: Courtesy UNICEF.

The report also finds that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the educational gaps between rich and poor in Latin America and the Caribbean widened..

New data from UNICEF shows that the percentage of children, girls and adolescents who do not receive any form of education “has skyrocketed” from the 4 al 18 percent in recent months, and the UN projections is that the pandemic "could take out of school up to 3 million more children in Latin America and the Caribbean ”.

"The economic impact of this educational crisis will be felt in the coming years", added the organism.

Photo: Courtesy UNICEF.

Among the children most at risk of dropping out of school are migrants, indigenous communities and the disabled, who should receive special educational support, since the pandemic has deepened poverty among millions of Latin American families, the study warns.

"Without help, many parents will have no choice but to sacrifice their children's education, it is not too late to build better education systems, more resilient and inclusive than before the pandemic ", added Aasen.

Image of Guatemala. Photo: Courtesy UNICEF.