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UNESCO: crisis worsens educational inequality

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More than a quarter of a billion children worldwide have no access to education – and the coronavirus crisis has exacerbated this situation: This is the conclusion reached by UNESCO in its current World Education Report. Since the turn of the millennium, however, the number of children without access to education has decreased. At that time it was more than 350 million.

According to the report released today in Paris, 40 percent of the poorest countries did not support poor or vulnerable students during the pandemic. More than 90 percent of all learners worldwide were affected by school closings.

But the inequality was great even before the coronavirus pandemic, according to the study by the UN cultural organization. The study entitled “Inclusion and Education” is based on data from 2018. According to this, almost 260 million children and adolescents in the world had no access to educational offers at all – this corresponds to around 17 percent of all school-age minors.

Experience shows that „health crises can leave many people behind,“ said UNESCO Director General Audrey Azoulay. This is particularly true for “the poorest girls, many of whom may never return to school”. The UN has set itself the goal of guaranteeing every young person the option of a medium-level education by 2030.