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News > Mexico

The Pandemic Enhances Unequal Access to Education, UN Warns

  • Girls during a class at a primary school in Wales, the U.K., August 3, 2020.

    Girls during a class at a primary school in Wales, the U.K., August 3, 2020. | Photo: Twitter/ @newscientist

Published 4 August 2020

"COVID-19 has created a generational catastrophe as it undermined decades of progress," Guterres said.

The United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres Tuesday asked countries to reopen schools when local transmission of COVID-19 is under control.


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"Countries must address the health crisis with vigorous actions so that children can return to the classrooms as soon as possible," Guterres said.

The world is facing the biggest educational recession in history with schools closed in over 160 countries.

"We need education as never before. The new epidemiological situation has pushed learning access inequality to an unsustainable level," Guterres added.

Government efforts to keep classes remotely are still insufficient. Many children do not have access to a television signal, a radio, or the Internet.

"The crisis has created a generational catastrophe as it undermines decades of progress and exacerbates deep-seated inequalities," Guterres warned.

Access to education is still very unequal among students with disabilities, members of minority or disadvantaged communities, refugees, and displaced people. 

Since the beginning of the pandemic, over one billion students have been affected by school closures. Among them, 40 million of them haven't had access to preschool education.

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