The United Nations Children’s Fund-UNICEF has advised governments to reopen schools. The organization says keeping students out of school has profound impact especially on vulnerable and marginalized children. The un agency has called on world leaders to reopen schools as soon as possible — within coronavirus prevention sanitary guidelines.
UNICEF unveiled on Wednesday, a ‘pandemic classroom,’ a model classroom made up of 168 empty desks, each representing a million children worldwide whose schools have been entirely closed for almost a year, because of COVID-19 lockdowns.
The global chief of education for UNICEF, Robert Jenkins, says schools should be the first to open during the reopening process.
Jenkins said the percentage of teenage pregnancies and incidents of sexual-based violence in Africa increased significantly as a result of prolonged school closures from previous pandemics, like the Ebola crisis in West Africa.
Latest Unesco data show nearly 900 million children worldwide still face disruptions to their education as a result of full and partial school closures.
They also show that the most vulnerable children, and those unable to access remote learning, are at an increased risk of abandoning their education, and even being forced into child marriage or child labour.
UNICEF’s framework for reopening schools, issued jointly with UNESCO, UNHCR, WFP and the World Bank, offers practical advice for national and local authorities to recover children’s lost education while prioritizing each student’s unique needs.
India: Delhi Announces Lockdown As COVID Cases Surge
India’s capital city, Delhi, has announced a week-long lockdown effective today, Monday, after the city recorded a spike in number of infections that has now overwhelmed the city’s healthcare system.
Government offices and essential services, such as hospitals, pharmacies and grocers, are open during the lockdown.
Delhi recorded nearly twenty-five hundred cases of the coronavirus infections on Sunday alone.
India has been reeling from a deadly second wave since early April causing a shortage of hospital beds and oxygen supplies.
India has the fourth highest number of deaths after the United States, Brazil and Mexico – though, among a population of nearly one and a half billion.
Delhi state’s chief minister, Arvind Kejriwal says the healthcare system is at a breaking point, and if a lockdown is not put in place now, the country will be looking at a bigger disaster.
Families Reunite As Australia-New Zealand ‘Travel Bubble’ Begins
Hundreds of passengers from Australia have started arriving at New Zealand airports on Monday after authorities reopened borders, in a process that allows quarantine-free travel between the countries for the first time in more than a year.
New Zealand had enforced isolation for arrivals from its neighbour, citing concerns about sporadic virus outbreaks there.
New Zealand prime minister, Jacinda Ardern told reporters in wellington, this bubble marks a significant step in New Zealand’s reconnection with the world.
Ardern said Australian prime minister Scott Morrison and foreign minister Marise Payne would visit New Zealand very soon.
Boris Johnson Cancels India Trip Amid COVID Surge
British prime minister Boris Johnson has cancelled a planned trip to India, originally planned for next week, because of the rise in India’s COVID-19 cases.
India is enduring a second wave of the virus, with infections passing the 15 million mark.
Johnson had already postponed the trip once in January, when COVID-19 infections were high in Britain.
Now that the trip has been cancelled, prime ministers Modi and Johnson will speak later this month to agree and launch their ambitious plans for the future partnership between the UK and India.
Britain has invited India to attend the G7 summit it will host in June.
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