Guterres warned of a “major disaster” due to school closures

According to the UN Secretary-General, this could undermine the progress made and exacerbate inequality.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that the coronavirus pandemic has led to the largest disruption of the educational process in history: the closure of schools in more than 160 countries as of mid-July affected more than a billion students.

In addition, the head of the international organization noted that at least 40 million children were cut off from training in the “critical last year before school” for them.

“We are experiencing a massive catastrophe that could lead to untold human potential being wasted, which could undermine decades of progress and exacerbate entrenched inequality,” Guterres warned.

He noted that even before the pandemic, the world was facing a “learning crisis” with more than 250 million children out of school and only a quarter of children in developing countries graduating from high school with “basic knowledge and skills.”

According to a forecast by UNESCO and partner organizations covering 180 countries, about 23.8 million more children and young people, from pre-school to University level, may drop out of school or not get access to it due to the economic consequences of the pandemic.