168 million children worldwide without school

According to Unicef, 14 countries have been largely in lockdown since March 2020. School lessons have since been canceled for millions of school children. The children's aid organization speaks of catastrophic consequences.

For almost a year, according to Unicef, more than 168 million children worldwide have been excluded from school due to measures against the corona pandemic. The United Nations Children's Fund reported on Wednesday that 214 million children missed more than three quarters of their classes. Unicef ​​Executive Director Henrietta Fore spoke of a "catastrophic education crisis" because of the global lockdown.

According to the report, 14 countries were largely in lockdown from March 2020 to February 2021. Two thirds of these countries belong to Latin America and the Caribbean and together have almost 98 million school children.
"The most disadvantaged children pay the highest price"

In schools, children would exchange ideas with their peers, receive support, access health services and vaccinations, as well as a meal. The most vulnerable and the children without access to distance education are at an increased risk of never going back to school and being forced into child marriages or child labor, according to Unicef. "The most disadvantaged children pay the highest price," said Fore. "We must leave no stone unturned to keep the schools open or to give priority to their rapid reopening."

Unicef ​​wants to draw attention to the educational crisis with the installation "Pandemic Classroom": The model classroom shows 168 empty desks - one desk for one million children, whose schools have been almost completely closed for a year.