Covid-19 disrupts education for 70 percent of young students, experts warn

By Antonio Broto

Geneva, Aug 11 (efe-epa).- The Covid-19 crisis is having a devastating effect on the education and training of young people, the International Labour Organization warned on Tuesday.

The disproportionate effect of the pandemic on youngsters has exacerbated inequalities and risks reducing the productive potential of an entire generation, it said in a report.

More than 70 percent of students in fulltime or parttime education have been adversely affected by closures of schools, universities and training centers since the start of the outbreak, according to the ILO.

The report, titled Youth and Covid-19: impacts on jobs, education, rights and mental well-being, found that 65 percent of young people said they had learned less due to online and distance classes during lockdown.

Around half of them believe their studies will be delayed and nine percent think they could fail examinations, it added.

Children and young people in lower-income countries have been the worst-affected due to less internet access, scarcity of equipment and sometimes lack of space at home.

This highlights the scale of “digitals divides” between regions, with 65 percent of students in high-income countries taking online classes compared to 18 percent in low-income nations, according to the ILO.

Guy Ryder, ILO director-general, said in a statement: “The pandemic is inflicting multiple shocks on young people.

“It is not only destroying their jobs and employment prospects but also disrupting their education and training and having serious impacts on their mental well-being.”

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