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Eight in 10 Afghan children learned little or nothing during COVID-19 lockdown: survey

14 Sep 2020 1TV News

Eight in 10 Afghan children believe they have learnt little or nothing since schools were closed due to COVID-19 pandemic, a charity has said.

Save the Children said its survey showed that two-thirds of the Afghan children had no contact with teachers at all during the lockdown.

Less than 1 in every 20 children (4.6%) had at least one daily check-in with a teacher, according to the survey.

Three in every 10 (30%) children reported some violence at home during the lockdown whle for caregivers it was one in every four caregivers (26%).

Save the Children said that it surveyed 351 children and their caregivers as well as 129 respondents from the general public via social media.

The charity said that COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on the education of children from poorer backgrounds and is widening the gap between rich and poor boys and girls.

Before the COVID-19 crisis, 3.7 million children were already out of school and when schools were closed due to the pandemic, nearly 10 million more lost access to education, Save the Children said.

The situation isn’t helped by inadequate public investment in schooling. Across public schools, a mere $196 is spent per primary-school-aged child, which is 78% below the average for the South Asia region, the charity said.

“To protect an entire generation of children from losing out on a healthy and stable future, the world needs to urgently step up with support for Afghanistan,” said Christopher Nyamandi, Save the Children’s Afghanistan Country Director. “Without education Afghan children will be denied the opportunity to help rebuild their country.”

“The needs of children and their opinions need to be at the centre of any plans to build back what Afghanistan has lost over the past months, to ensure they don’t pay the heaviest price.”

Save the Children’s research shows that across six Afghan provinces, just 28.6% of children can access distance learning programmes through TV, 13.8% through radio programming, and 0.2% through the internet.

Girls have been more heavily impacted than boys by the COVID-19 pandemic. Of the 3.7 million children that were already out-of-school, 60% are girls, according to Save the Children.

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