The agency says that while they have already supported 21 governments with more than USD 5.4 million for remote learning and preparedness for school re-opening, radio as the preferred medium for delivering lessons only reaches four in ten children across East and Southern Africa.
An Image of a Digital Liblary
While governments continue
mooting for alternative schooling in the wake of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)
that led to the closure of schools, the UN Children’s Agency-UNICEF says that
tens of millions of children in Eastern and Southern Africa will not be
The agency says that while they
have already supported 21 governments with more than USD 5.4 million for remote
learning and preparedness for school re-opening, radio as the preferred medium
for delivering lessons only reaches four in ten children across East and
They equally note only 22 per
cent of the households in the two regions have access to the internet whereas
84 per cent of the rural population where the bulk of the learners reside have
no electricity. The other means that UNICEF has
been supporting countries with apart from Radio are SMS and printed materials
which all were planned to last until this week.
However, they say, more than 127
million pre-primaries, primary, and secondary school students in Eastern and
Southern Africa - who are supposed to return remain at home due to the
continued transmission of the acute respiratory infection, creating an urgent
need for more financial support into the education crisis.
“COVID-19 has triggered an
education crisis that is unprecedented in scope, duration and impact,” said
UNICEF Regional Director for Eastern & Southern Africa, Mohamed M. Malick
Fall. He asks that governments, business and parents must come together to
ensure inclusive, realistic and scalable ways that reach all children.
In an earlier statement, UNICEF,
World Food Programme, UNESCO together with the World Bank were advocating for the
safe re-opening of schools warning that their continued closure creates a risk
for some children to not ever return to school. They also issued guidelines for
reopening with recommendations on physical distancing and hand hygiene.
“Rising inequality, poor health
outcomes, violence, child labour and child marriage are just some of the
long-term threats for children who miss out on school,” said Henrietta Fore,
UNICEF Executive Director. “We know the longer children stay out of school, the
less likely they are to ever return. Unless we prioritize the reopening of
schools, we will likely see a devastating reversal in education gains",
she said in an earlier statement.