After two long Covid years, how serious it has harmed the children across the world? The UN agencies and other organisations working in the field of children many a time have pointed out the harsh reality of the pandemic on children. Educo, an NGO working in the education sector, has said that millions of children and adolescents have been unable to continue their education properly. Many of them have not even returned to school.
“In countries like Bangladesh, Bolivia, the Philippines, Guatemala, India or El Salvador, schools have been closed for more than a year and a half. Not being able to attend school and not having the opportunity to study remotely due to a lack of resources means an increase in existing educational inequalities,” explains Educo Executive Director, Pilar Orenes.
What happens if the children are not having access to any digital tools? Pilar Orenes said: “if there is no Internet at home, or if children do not know how to use digital tools or have to share them, if their families cannot help them with their studies, if there are no financial resources and sometimes they are forced to work, then they are being left behind.”
Educo has called for higher investment in education with a focus on the most vulnerable groups, more access to technology and advice on how to use it responsibly, training for teachers, reduced ratios, support for students’ emotional health and lunchroom grants to guarantee food and prevent absenteeism, among other things. “Af Educo we strongly believe that education is the most powerful tool for building a fairer and more equal society. It is key for complying with the 2030 Agenda. If this is not remedied urgently, the pandemic will leave behind a generational catastrophe in education”, said Educo Executive Director
The organisation, which has education projects in 14 countries, has been working intensively for two years to alleviate the impact of COVID-19 on children’s education. “Despite all the difficulties, we are working so that children and adolescents can access a quality education and make up for the time they have not been able to study and learn”, assures Orenes. In this regard, the NGO is developing schooling and anti-dropout programmes in countries such as the Philippines and El Salvador, educational support for displaced children in Niger, educational programmes using radio in Burkina Faso, access to technology in Guatemala and support outside school hours in India, among others.