Over 2 million children out of school in flood-hit Pakistan
Islamabad, Nov 3 (EFE).- Schools remain inaccessible for more than 2 million students in Pakistan after the recent devastating floods, the United Nations said on Thursday.
The worst-in-decades flooding killed 1,739 people, including 747 children, since June, according to Pakistan’s disaster management agency.
More than 33 million people have been affected due to the flood that destroyed or damaged nearly 27,000 schools.
The UN’s aid agency for children said more than two months since the devastating floods engulfed large areas of Pakistan, only rooftops of school buildings were just becoming visible in some of the flood-hit areas.
The UN agency estimated that it would be weeks, even months before the flood waters subsided.
“Almost overnight, millions of Pakistan’s children lost family members, homes, safety, and their education, under the most traumatic circumstances,” said UNICEF’s Global Director of Education Robert Jenkins.
Jenkins visited flood-affected areas in Pakistan.
One-third of boys and girls in flood-affected areas were already out of school and 50 percent of children suffered from stunting.
During the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic, schools across Pakistan were fully or partially closed for 64 weeks between March 2020 and March 2022.
“Now, faced with the uncertainty of when they will be able to return to school, and having already endured some of the world’s longest school closures due to the pandemic, they are experiencing yet another threat to their future,” said Jenkins.
The agency said it established more than 500 temporary learning centers in the worst-affected districts and supported teachers and children with education supplies.
Parents are concerned over the uncertain situation their kids are facing.
“We are so worried about the school closures but we are helpless,” Muhammed Hanif, a father of a school-going child, told EFE from Khairpur Nathan Shah in Sindh.
“We have never seen such a worse situation before in terms of education being affected badly and don’t know how long it will go,” said the 42-year-old father.
Authorities in the worst-affected Sindh province have been trying to drain the flood waters. Local media reports that water in 30 percent of areas is still present. EFE aa-ssk