The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) denounced in a statement that COVID-19 and conflicts in the Central Sahel region of Africa have forced over 12 million children there to leave school.
Twelve million children missed up to four months of school across Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger due to COVID-19 restrictions, while 776,000 children were prevented from attending school the entire year due to insecurity, according to a statement by the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC).
Lack of resources to prevent infections
NRC said as schools begin to reopen across the region, many lack the critical resources to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 transmission.
In Niger, water and hygiene facilities in schools are far from adequate. Only 15% of some 18,000 schools in the country have water points, and less than one-third have toilets. In Burkina Faso, overcrowded schools made space for displaced children who fled violence, even though Covid-19 prevention measures require fewer students per classroom.
The Flexible Learning Strategies for Out of School Children programme is a UNESCO initiative with the aim of supporting inclusive and quality education for every child in the region. Our goal is to reach the remaining and most vulnerable 5% of children with no access to education in the region and support quality improvements in learning for every child.
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