UNICEF has urged governments across the world to keep schools open to avert a learning catastrophe.
“As the Omicron variant of Covid-19 continues its spread all over the world, we urge governments to do everything in their power to keep it from further disrupting children’s education,” it said.
“To avert a learning catastrophe and put children back on the learning track, UNICEF recommends keeping schools open,” the UN agency said in a release on Saturday.
“Keep schools open. An estimated 616 million children are currently affected by full or partial school closures. We know that mitigation measures help keep schools open. We also know that investments in digital connectivity can help us make sure that no child is left behind.
“We need bold action to enable every child to return to school. This includes providing comprehensive support with a particular focus on marginalized children in each community, such as catch-up classes, mental health and nutrition support, protection and other key services,” it added.
The UN agency also urged governments to ensure the vaccination of all teachers and school staff immediately. “Teachers and school personnel should be fully supported and prioritised to receive Covid-19 vaccines, once frontline health personnel and high-risk populations are vaccinated.”