U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the coronavirus pandemic has led to the largest disruption of education in history, with schools closed in more than 160 countries in mid-July, affecting over 1 billion students.
In addition, the U.N. chief said at least 40 million children worldwide have missed out on education “in their critical preschool year.”
Guterres thus warned that the world faces “a generational catastrophe that could waste untold human potential, undermine decades of progress, and exacerbate entrenched inequalities.”
Guterres said even before the pandemic, the world faced “a learning crisis,” with more than 250 million children out of school, and only a quarter of secondary school youngsters in developing countries leaving school “with basic skills.”
“We are at a defining moment for the world’s children and young people,” Guterres said in a video message and a 26-page policy briefing. “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.”
al to COVID-19 recovery and to the future of the world.