The United Nations Children ’s Fund says closure of schools due to the COVID – 19 pandemic will impact negatively on the development , safety and wellbeing of children globally, noting that schools are not drivers of the viral disease .
UNICEF also warned that the effects of closing school for another year will be felt for generations to come.
The agency in a statement on Tuesday maintained that despite overwhelming evidence that schools were not drivers of the pandemic , steps have been taken to ensure that they remained shut.
“In the case of lockdowns, schools must be among the first to reopen once authorities start lifting restrictions .
“Catch – up classes should be prioritised to ensure that children who have been unable to learn remotely are not left behind .
“If children are faced with another year of school closures , the effects will be felt for generations to come,” UNICEF warned.
The UN agency noted that the number of out -of – school children is set to rise by 24 million to a level not yet seen in years and to a level it has fought so hard to overcome .