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  •  Students attending a class on the second day of school amid measures taken by the Moroccan authorities in an attempt to stop the spread of Covid-19, in Rabat, Morocco, 08 September 2020.

    Students attending a class on the second day of school amid measures taken by the Moroccan authorities in an attempt to stop the spread of Covid-19, in Rabat, Morocco, 08 September 2020. | Photo: EFE/EPA/ Jalal Morchiodi

Published 8 September 2020
Opinion

According to the organization, 60 percent of governments worldwide allocate less than four percent of their budgets to adult learning and education.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) warned on Tuesday that the learning losses and disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic had affected 1.4 billion people worldwide, mainly children, adolescents, and adults.

RELATED:

UNICEF: Global Education Emergency Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic

As September 8 marks International Literacy Day, the UNESCO urged governments to provide learning opportunities and infrastructure to the 773 million adults and young people who lack essential reading and writing skills, as published in a new report.

According to the organization, 60 percent of governments worldwide allocates less than four percent of their budgets to adult learning and education. In August, the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) called the attention about a global education emergency unleashed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The latest data by UNESCO shows that two-thirds of the 773 million non-literate young and adults are women. 

On the other hand, globally, 63 million and primary and secondary teachers were affected by the closure of schools as a result of containment measures. UNESCO highlights that to tackle the crisis effectively, frontline educators have to be prioritized.

"The first challenge is, therefore, to ensure that educators everywhere in the world can carry out their work under good conditions: by increasing their numbers to meet needs, by paying them fairly and by providing them with job stability," UNESCO's Director-General  Audrey Azoulay said.

At a regional level, Africa has the lowest literacy rate, with 66 percent as it accounts for one-third of the world's non-literate adult population.

On the other hand, Latin America had "an educationally advanced" landscape by the end of 2019 since the literacy rate marked 94.3 percent. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has worsened the social and economic disparities. Hence, the organization warns that this situation will heavily impact several education systems in the region.

The report explains that in Latin America, "many literacy programs have  been suspended throughout most of this region's countries, while some online options have been maintained  or  expanded."

 
   


 

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