UN secretary general, Antonio Guterres warned today that the world faces a “generational catastrophe” due to school closures amid the coronavirus pandemic and insisted said that getting students safely back to the classroom must be “a top priority.”
As of mid-July, schools were closed in some 160 countries, affecting more than 1 billion students, while at least 40 million children have missed out on pre-school.
This came on top of more than 250 million children already being out of school before the onset of the pandemic and only a quarter of secondary school students in developing countries leaving with basic skills.
“Now we face a generational catastrophe that could waste untold human potential, undermine decades of progress, and exacerbate entrenched inequalities,” said Guterres as he launched a UN “Save our Future” campaign.
“We are at a defining moment for the world’s children and young people. The decisions that governments and partners take now will have lasting impact on hundreds of millions of young people, and on the development prospects of countries for decades to come”, concluded Guterres.