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COVID-19: African countries urged to promote a safe return to school – UN News

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The World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF urged governments on the continent to promote a safe return to the classroom while also limiting spread of the virus. 

“Schools have paved the way to success for many Africans. They also provide a safe haven for many children in challenging circumstances to develop and thrive,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa.  

“We must not be blind-sided by our efforts to contain COVID-19 and end up with a lost generation. Just as countries are opening businesses safely, we can reopen schools. This decision must be guided by a thorough risk analysis to ensure the safety of children, teachers and parents and with key measures like physical distancing put in place.” 

Closed classrooms, poor outcomes 

A WHO survey of 39 sub-Saharan African countries has revealed that schools are open in only six nations and partially open in 19.  Schools are closed in 14 nations, although 12 plan to resume classroom learning in September, the start of the academic year. 

The disruption to education has resulted in poor nutrition, stress, increased exposure to violence and exploitation, childhood pregnancies, and overall…



Read More: https://news.un.org/en/story/2020/08/1070702

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Source: https://news.un.org/en/story/2020/08/1070702

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