About 1.6m youth has faced unemployment during in Pakistan, post COVID-19: World Bank
About 1.6m youth has faced unemployment during in Pakistan, post COVID-19: World Bank || Picture Courtesy: Google Images

Islamabad, Pakistan: According to a recent World Bank analysis on the effects of Covid-19 on South Asian countries, Pakistan is home to 1.6 million unemployed youth, according to The News International.

Millions of children and teenagers have been idle since the COVID-19 pandemic that swept the globe three years ago.

“Collapse and Recovery: How Covid Eroded Human Capital and What to Do About It,” the first thorough examination of post-pandemic global statistics, was published on Thursday. It notes a significant shift in Pakistan’s school enrolment rates between before and after the outbreak.

According to a study, by the end of 2021, preschool enrolment in Pakistan had decreased by over 15 percentage points in the post-pandemic era. According to the research, 7.6 million children in Pakistan alone have dropped out of school, and enrolment among children aged six to 14 fell by six percentage points once schools reopened.

The study provides statistics on the pandemic’s effects on children and adolescents worldwide, focusing on early childhood (0–5 years), school age (6–14 years), and youth (15–24 years). It concludes that the Covid-19-induced education loss could cost today’s pupils in South Asia up to 14.4% of their potential earnings in the future.

According to The News International, between April 1, 2020, and March 31, 2022, schools were closed entirely or in part for 83% of the time in South Asia, which is a considerable increase over the global average of 52%.

For every 30 days when schools were closed, youngsters who were of school age lost an average of 32 days of instruction. This is because pupils missed out on learning and also forgot what they had already learned as a result of school closings and inefficient remote learning strategies.

As a result, learning poverty—which was already 60% before the pandemic—has grown even more, with The News International estimating that 78 percent of 10-year-olds in South Asia are unable to read and comprehend a simple written sentence.

Martin Raiser, vice president of the World Bank for South Asia, was quoted in the press release as saying, “The pandemic closed schools, decimated jobs, and threw vulnerable families into crisis, throwing millions of children and young people in South Asia off course and robbing them of opportunities to flourish.”

The children from the poorest households in Pakistan, however, were falling further behind in math when the post- and pre-pandemic learning levels were compared to those of the wealthiest households.

According to The News International, the World Bank cautioned that COVID-19-like catastrophes lead to a fall in both human capital levels and the following rates of accumulation. If the aforementioned losses are not addressed, lifetime wages and economic growth will see a decades-long decline, ultimately leading to an increase in inequality.