He called it a terrible mistake to reopen bars and pubs before schools, adding that reopening schools cannot wait for all teachers and students to be vaccinated
Geneva – The United Nations has insisted that schools closed due to the coronavirus pandemic must reopen as soon as possible, estimating that the education of more than 600 million children was at stake.
James Elder, the spokesman for the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), told reporters in Geneva that this cannot go on.
He said that although governments have to make difficult choices when facing the Covid-19 crisis and the possible spread of the disease, schools should be the last to close and the first to reopen.
“It is a terrible mistake to reopen bars and pubs before schools. Reopening schools cannot wait for all teachers and students to be vaccinated.” He said.
While children in some parts of the world are in their summer holidays, in eastern and southern Africa, an estimated 40 percent of school-age children are currently out of school.
That comes on top of the estimated 37 million children who were out of school before Covid-19 struck.
Citing Uganda, he said that between March 2020 and June 2021, there was a more than 20 percent increase in pregnancy among 10 to 24-year-olds.