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Prolonged school closures pose threat to gender equality: UNESCO

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According to a study by UNESCO, prolonged closures of the school due to Covid-19 is not only leading to humongous learning loss but also poses threat to gender equality. “At the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, 1.6 billion students in 190 countries were affected by school closures. Not only did they lose access to education, but also to the myriad benefits of attending school, at an unparalleled scale,” said Stefania Giannini, UNESCO, Assistant Director-General for Education.
“Educational disruption of this extent has alarming effects on learning loss and school dropout. Beyond this, it poses threats to gender equality, including effects on health, wellbeing and protection that are gender-specific,” Giannini said.

“In poorer contexts, girls’ time to learn was constrained by increased household chores. Boys’ participation in learning was limited by income-generating activities. Girls faced difficulties in engaging in digital remote learning modalities in many contexts because of limited access to internet-enabled devices, a lack of digital skills and cultural norms restricting their use of technological devices,” the report said.

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