- World Health Organization Urges African leaders to consider opening schools.
- Children affected by prolonged school closure.
- Countries planning to reopen schools on September.
World Health Organization has noted that prolonged closure of schools in Africa due to COVID-19 has a lot of adverse effects on children. The move comes after a survey done on African countries revealed the impact of prolonged school closure had on children.
In a statement, the World Health Organization revealed that keeping children at home is destroying their future. Further, they claim that the closure has brought a lot of disruption to the children’s development.
Since the closure of schools in March, child pregnancies, exposure to exploitation, poor nutrition stress and different forms of mental torture have been witnessed in African countries. WHO is urging African leaders to check on the safety of reopening schools soon.
“The decision must be guided by a thorough risk analysis to ensure the safety of children teachers and parents,” said the WHO regional director for Africa Matshidiso Moeti.
In a statement, Moeti brings out how other places were opened safely, such as market places, places of worship, and other sectors neglecting the education sector by the African leaders.
Moeti added that African leaders should not get lost on fighting COVID-19 and forget that they might bring up a lost generation in the future. The organizations said that schools are the safest places for the child rather than staying at home.
For instance, the break-out of Ebola in West African countries brought a halt in the girl child’s education due to early pregnancies. Sierra Leone was an example of the most affected countries in 2014.
Mohamed Malick Fall, the Unicef Regional Director, added that the risks posed to the child could only be tamed through the reopening of schools. Mallick also added that the children’s self-advancement is negatively affected.
The World Bank is afraid of the economy as other parents are forced to stay at home to monitor their children, denying them economic growth.
Survey Done By World Health Organization
The WHO’s recently done survey among 39 countries in Africa revealed that only six states have fully opened their schools while 19 are partially opened.
Currently, 12 countries are planning to resume classroom learning in September. The opening will mark the start of the new academic calendar in some countries.
In Kenya, the Cabinet Secretary of education Professor George Magoha said that over 100000 schools in the country would reopen when they meet the health guidelines to protect the children and the staff from COVID-19. Also, Magoha noted that only President Uhuru Kenyatta has the decision to reopen the schools with the current situation.