EDUCATION NEWS UGANDA — The COVID-19 pandemic has led to the largest disruption of education ever, says United Nations.
According to the United Nations General Secretary, Antonio Guterres , schools were closed in over 160 countries, affecting more than 1 billion students by last month leading to the world’s largest education disruption.
At least 40 million children worldwide have missed out on education in their critical pre-school year, he added.
Speaking about TV, radio and online learning, the UN General Secretary Guterres said that many learners have been left out despite the best effort of the teachers and parents.
Learners with disabilities, those in minority or disadvantaged communities, displaced and refugee students and those in remote areas are at highest risk of being left behind and even for those who can access distance learning, success depends on their living conditions, including the fair distribution of domestic duties, he added
He revealed that there was a learning crisis before the pandemic were over 250 million school-age children were out of school and only a quarter of secondary school children in developing countries leaving school with basic skills.
Now we face a generational catastrophe that could waste untold human potential, undermine decades of progress, and exacerbate entrenched inequalities, he warned.
The UN General Secretary further said that it was a defining moment for the world’s children and young people and called for the reopening of schools when the local transmission of COVID-19 comes under control.
In Uganda, there are mixed reactions among parents and educationists on the efficacy of teaching using distance learning on radio’s and television platforms as encouraged under the Education response plan by the Ministry of Education.
Many parents say that they did not get enough time to prepare and consider the options available to the children during the ongoing lockdown precipitated by an outbreak of the novel coronavirus, which has swept through almost all countries across the world. At the peak of the outbreak, schools were closed as one of the measures to contain the virus.
Up to 15 million Ugandan learners are now seated at home. But nearly 90 percent of them do not have household computers or mobile phones and 82 percent are unable to get online. Several households, especially in rural areas do not have television sets or even electricity to power the gadgets which leaves them with no options for learning outside the school set up.