Warning of three international organizations:

The United Nations says nine months after the outbreak of the coronavirus, half of the world's student population is still unable to return to school.

Iran PressEurope: The UN World Health Organization, UNESCO, and UNICEF, at a joint press conference yesterday, while announcing that half of the world's student population is still unable to return to school due to the coronavirus crisis, called on governments to put reopening of schools and issuing health guidelines on their agenda.

The World Health Organization, UNESCO, and UNICEF also deplored that at least 463 million students are deprived of distance education.

UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore at the news conference said: "Schools in 192 countries around the world were closed and 1.6 billion students stayed at home during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic."

Today, 872 million students in 51 countries are still unable to start their school year, Fore added.

"Before the coronavirus pandemic, the world was grappling with the education crisis," said Stefania Giannini, UN Assistant Director-General for Education (UNESCO).

The Director-General of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom, also clarified in this regard: "We now know more about the consequences of the outbreak of coronavirus; Children and adolescents can develop COVID-19 and transmit it to others; The disease can even lead to the death of children and adolescents, but the probability is low."

The director-general of the World Health Organization added: "Although children are not greatly affected by acute cases of COVID-19, they are affected by other cases."

Statistics provided by three international bodies (the World Health Organization, UNESCO, and UNICEF) show that less than 10 percent of COVID-19 cases and less than two-tenths of all deaths are under-20s.

According to the information provided by these three international organizations, closing schools, in the long run, can have devastating effects on children.

"By closing schools and keeping children at home, they are more exposed to physical and mental violence and their mental health is at risk," said UNICEF Executive Director.

"For the poor, including the marginalized, not going back to school, even for a few weeks, can have long-term negative consequences for students," Henrietta Fore said.

She added: "In addition to education, the school provides important services, including health, wellness nutrition, and provides a safe and suitable environment for them; With the closure of schools, it is no longer possible to provide these services; That is why we call on governments to prioritize the reopening of schools by removing restrictions."

The United Nations also calls on governments to consider all the needs of children in schools, including education, protection, physical and mental health, and to ensure that the best interests of each child are prioritized. 

Stefania Giannini, UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Education, said: "In the crisis of the coronavirus outbreak, the importance of the need for a school as a center of learning and education, as well as the well-being of children in these educational centers is felt more than ever."

The World Health Organization, UNESCO, and UNICEF have also published practical recommendations and new guidelines on how to run schools safely in the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak, including safety measures such as social distancing, masking, hand washing, disinfecting surfaces and objects, creating mechanisms to share information with parents, students and teachers, and so on.

According to the statement of the three international institutions, continuing of children's education for their public welfare, health and safety should be at the forefront of all considerations and decisions when organizing the education of children under-18 years of age is considered.


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