Prolonged school closures due to COVID-19 pose threat to gender equality: UNESCO study

What is the News?

UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) has released a study titled “When Schools Close: Gendered Impacts of COVID-19 School Closures”.

This study highlights how school closures affected girls and boys, young women and men differently depending on the circumstances.

What are the key findings of the study?

Around 1.6 billion students in 190 countries were affected by school closures. Not only did they lose access to education, but also the benefits of attending school.

Girls access to learning was constrained by a) increased household chores b) limited access to Internet-enabled devices c) a lack of digital skills and d) cultural norms restricting their use of technological devices,

Boys participation in learning was limited by income-generating activities. Around one-third of respondents in a poll conducted in 55 nations reported an increase in the prevalence of child labour as a result of COVID-19 school closures.

School closures also had a negative influence on children’s health, particularly their mental health, well-being, and safety.

What are the suggestions given by the study?

-Advance equal access to gender-responsive and inclusive remote learning.

-Prevent school dropout and ensure the return to school – particularly of the most vulnerable

-Safeguard the health and well-being of all learners and teachers.

-Build resilient, equitable and gender-responsive education systems.

-Finance education that promotes inclusion and gender equality

Source: This post is based on the article Prolonged school closures due to COVID-19 pose threat to gender equality: UNESCO study published by The Hindu on 22nd Nov 2021.

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