Millions of Girls May Never Return to School as Over 24 Million Children Drop-Out Globally

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The coronavirus pandemic has deeply entranced and long-lasting implications for the education sector across the world and girls and women students are likely to be amongst the worst affected. A recent report by the United Nations warns that, almost 24 million children are being the worst affected in terms of access to educational opportunities amid the coronavirus pandemic is concerned and the economic fallout of the pandemic has been such that they may never be able to return to school again. 

The fact that 24  million children across the world will never be able to pursue their education again or that the pandemic has resulted in them being permanently pulled out of the education system, is indicative of the devastating impacts of the coronavirus pandemic on the education sector. The press briefing of the United Nations on the implications of the coronavirus pandemic on the education infrastructure highlighted how the growing financial strains on world populations will also grow rapidly as the pandemic continues and this will have far-reaching implications for millions of children across the world. The fact that was highlighted was that while more than 1.6 billion learners have been affected by the widespread disruptions in the education system, the children of the least developed and the developing countries are the worst victims. 

The children of low-income countries are harder hit and the negative implications of the pandemic on their educational outputs will stay around for longer. 86% children of the poor and middle income countries studying at the primary level have been pulled out of school compared to only 20% in highly developed countries of the world. 

The briefing made by the United Nations suggests that the coronavirus pandemic may pull out an additional 23.8 million from pre-primary and primary schools.  The closure of educational facilities across the globe and the financial constraints that the pandemic has posed before the people of the world, have adversely impacted the educational domain and pulled out millions of children in a way that they may never be able to return back to the school. 

Moreover, the closure of schools will also impact female children as they will be exposed to child marriages, early pregnancy and patriarchal violence as they are compelled to quit schooling. Another important challenge is that even if chidden are not compelled to quit schooling altogether they will face tremendous difficulties in coping with the academic loss. The loss of learning and the absence of academic possibilities in the absence of schooling will surely pose many challenges before chidden of the world.

 It is in this context that nation-states of the world need to come together and work on a plan to bring back such children to schools with enhanced awareness programs, increased subsidies and greater budget allocations for the education system to encourage children and parents to not quit mid-way and continue with their pursuits towards education despite the hardships brought forward by the pandemic.

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