With schools in Afghanistan closed since 14 March to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, approximately 10 million children have had their education interrupted and many without access to alternative learning options, such as lessons delivered through television and radio, the aid agency said.
“While classrooms must remain closed until it is safe for children, teachers, and other school staff to return, children’s protection and educational support must be promoted,” the agency said in a statement. “The inability to attend school in addition to devasting job losses for many Afghan families means that their children are having to work in the streets or marry early in order to support their families.”
It said that children must be studying safely in their homes through the most appropriate means, whether television and radio or printed materials, and not working in hazardous conditions.
According to the survey, 53 percent of children have already observed the economic impacts of COVID-19, including the loss of employment of a parent, increased prices of basic goods in markets, or increased debt.
“While many countries seem to be bringing COVID-19 under control, the situation in Afghanistan is worsening. It is reported that the pandemic has yet to peak and the country remains worryingly unprepared to cope,” Milan Dinic, Save the Children’s Afghanistan Country Director, said. “The indirect impacts of COVID-19 on the lives of millions of children in Afghanistan cannot be ignored. Ten million have had their education interrupted while they see their parents and neighbours, struggling to cope with job losses and soaring food prices.”
He added: “Support is urgently needed across all areas– from income support for families to alternative education options for children. COVID-19 is not going anywhere anytime soon, and we need to be prepared for a new normal in Afghanistan.”
Source : Afghan Voce Agency(AVA)
Monday 13 July 2020 14:50