The economic consequences of the crisis coronavirus they can lead around 10 million children worldwide not to return to school after quarantine. The alert was made today by the British NGO Save the Children.
According to the Save The Children study, 1.6 billion students had to drop out of school or university because of the pandemic. “For the first time in the history of mankind, an entire generation of children has seen their school pace change,” said the NGO in its report.
The organization calls on governments and donors to take action to address what it called “global educational urgency.” She estimates that up to 9.7 million students can leave school forever until the end of the year. Before the pandemic, 258 million children and adolescents were already outside the education system.
Without these emergency actions, the inequalities that exist today “will increase between rich and poor, and between boys and girls,” Inger Ashing, director general of Save the Children, said in a statement. The risk of school dropout, especially for girls, is greatest in 12 countries, mainly in central and western Africa, as well as in Yemen and Afghanistan.
Suspension of debt payment
The organization asks international creditors to suspend payment of the debt of poor countries. The measure could unlock $ 14 billion to be invested in education. “It is unacceptable that funds needed to keep the hope that provides education alive to be used to pay debts,” said Inger Ashing.
According to her, if “we let this education crisis develop, the impact on children will be lasting”. Recalling the objective set by the UN, the director-general stressed that “the promise made that all children in the world will have access to education by 2030 will be compromised for several years”.
In a more positive scenario, Save The Children estimates a drop of US $ 77 billion in education funds in the poorest countries in the next 18 months. But the situation could be much worse if governments choose to invest all funds in other sectors directly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. In this case, the decline in investment in education may reach US $ 192 billion.