Media Factsheet: Unequal access to remote schooling amid COVID-19 threatens to deepen global learning crisis

An overview of South Asia

Mounee Mahdeya, 10, uses her computer tablet to complete schoolwork
UNICEF/UNI322380/Khaliduzzaman

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NEW YORK, 5 June 2020 – As nearly 1.2 billion school children remain affected by school closures and as they grapple with the realities of remote learning in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, UNICEF warns inherent inequalities in access to tools and technology threaten to deepen the global learning crisis. In South Asia, nation-wide school closures continue in all countries, affecting approximately 434 million children and youth.

“Access to the technology and materials needed to continue learning while schools are closed is desperately unequal. Likewise, children with limited learning support at home have almost no means to support their education. Providing a range of learning tools and accelerating access to the internet for every school and every child is critical,” said UNICEF Chief of Education Robert Jenkins.“A learning crisis already existed before COVID-19 hit. We are now looking at an even more divisive and deepening education crisis.”

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