UNICEF: Closing schools must be the last option

Henrietta Fore, the Executive Director of the UN Children's Fund - (UNICEF), cited that closing schools should be the last option whenever possible, despite the rise of the new COVID variant Omicron. 

Impact of COVID-19 on education.

Henrietta Fore, the Executive Director of the UN Children’s Fund – (UNICEF), cited that closing schools should be the last option whenever possible, despite the rise of the new COVID variant Omicron. 

Fore highlighted, “When COVID-19 community transmission rises, stringent public health measures become essential, schools must be the last places to get close and the first to re-open”. 

Schools in the Caribbean region are opening their doors after a long time, under strict COVID-19 health protocols, such as – fully vaccinated students and school staff, including teachers, would be permitted to enter the premises.  

Highlighting the significance of quality education, Fore added, “These closures have wiped out decades of progress in education and rendered childhood unrecognizable. A shadow pandemic of child labour, child marriage and mental health issues has taken hold“. 

Following the above statement, she added that the organizations’ member states also need to invest more in digital connectivity to ensure every child gets a quality education. 

It needs to be the year that education, and the best interests of children, take precedence,” Fore added. 

Online classes replaced face-to-face classes in the tough times of the COVID-19 pandemic, which somehow, in one or another way, affected the study of students. 

The ongoing deadliest COVID-19 outbreak forced the schools to shut their doors for more than a year, and now when the institutions around the globe have opened, the world witnesses emergence of another COVID-19 variant Omicron. 

In order to assure the safety of children, countries started inoculating them with the WHO-approved COVID-19 vaccines. Still, there are some states who are yet not vaccinating this age group. 

If we look at the COVID-19 statistics, there are a total of 4,412,349,488 individuals who are vaccinated atleast with one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. In total, 3,631,889,867 individuals are now fully immunized, taking their required number of the COVID-19 jabs. 

On the other hand, worldwide, 367,798,115 individuals are those who have obtained their booster shots.