Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - UN: No virtual schooling for 463M




UN: No virtual schooling for 463M

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Two students attend a virtual class from a treetop on a hill, where they can reach internet signals, in El Tigre, El Salvador, last week. AFP

UN: No virtual schooling for 463M

Amid the Covid-19 pandemic and widespread school closures, at least one-third of affected students around the world lack access to virtual education, according to a UN study released on Wednesday.

In all, an estimated 463 million children lack the equipment or electronic access to pursue distance learning, said the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) report.

In a statement, UNICEF executive director Henrietta Fore said: “The sheer number of children whose education was completely disrupted for months on end is a global education emergency.

“The repercussions could be felt in economies and societies for decades to come.”

The UN estimates that 1.5 billion children worldwide have been affected by lockdowns or school closings occasioned by the pandemic.

The report underlined gaping geographical differences in children’s access to distance education, with far fewer affected in Europe, for example, than in Africa or parts of Asia.

The UN report is based on data gathered from roughly 100 countries, and measured public access to the internet, television and radio.

Even children with adequate access may face other obstacles to distance learning – whether the lack of a good workspace at home, pressure to do other work for the family, or a lack of technical support when computer problems arise, the report said.

Among students around the world who are unable to access virtual education, 67 million are in eastern and southern Africa, 54 million in western and central Africa, 80 million in the Pacific and East Asia, 37 million in the Middle East and North Africa, 147 million in South Asia, and 13 million in Latin America and the Caribbean.

No figures were given for the US, Canada or Southeast Asia.

With the new school year soon getting underway in many countries – including in-person classes in many places – UNICEF urged governments to “prioritise the safe reopening of schools when they begin easing lockdown restrictions”.

Where reopening is impossible, governments should arrange for “compensatory learning for lost instructional time”, the report said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hun Sen says Kingdom not a 'satellite country'

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said Cambodia had sent diplomatic notes to various embassies demonstrating its stance and clarifying allegations that the Kingdom is a satellite country of China which will allow it exclusive access to the Ream Naval Base in Preah Sihanouk province. The response

  • Vast Prince Manor fun park opens to much fanfare in Kandal

    Chinese-owned Prince Culture and Development Co Ltd officially launched the $85 million Prince Manor entertainment centre in Kandal province on Wednesday. Prince Manor is located along National Road 1, 20km from the centre of Phnom Penh. It is the first major theme park project in Cambodia and

  • Angkor provides ‘valuable’ water storage

    The Apsara National Authority (ANA) has stored millions of cubic metres of water at reservoirs in the Angkor area after Cambodia experienced a series of rainstorms over the last few days. The storing of the water, besides serving temple conservation, will also be used to

  • Floods prompt evacuations in Kampong Speu

    Rain-induced floods and water flowing from Kampong Speu province have submerged the houses of 1,527 families living close to the Prek Thnot River in Spean Thma, Tien, Kong Noy and Roluos communes in Phnom Penh’s Dangkor district, according to data from local authorities. Spean Thma

  • Serving coffee with a side of robots

    The eye-catching glass building surrounded by greenery at the intersection of Streets 371 and 2002 in Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district is more than just another coffee shop where you can while away a few hours. UrHobby House cafe is filled with robots and characters from

  • Cintri strike ends, workers’ contracts to be terminated

    CINTRI (Cambodia) Ltd rubbish collectors who have been on strike for the past 13 days agreed to return to work starting Wednesday evening after the company agreed to terminate their contracts at the end of January next year and provide seniority payments and other benefits to