International Day of Education: Protecting COVID-19 Steals the FULL FUTURE of Generations
The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 24 January as International Day of Education, in celebration of the role of education for peace and development. The celebration of this day is coming this year while the world witnessed the very pandemic Coronavirus that trembles the world and forced states to close learning environments- schools, institutions, and universities.
According to the World Bank, before the coronavirus spread around the world, over a quarter billion children were not attending school globally. And an estimated 53% of children in low- and middle-income countries suffered from Learning Poverty, unable to read and understand a simple text at the age of 10. At the peak of school closures in April 2020, 1.6 billion children were out of school worldwide.
What Ethiopia did to Protect the Full Future of its Generations
Ethiopia was one of the countries that closed schools as of 16 March 2020 and sent 26 million-plus pre-primary, primary, secondary, and tertiary-level learners at home. When the schools were closed, announced that primary school students follow lessons from a radio transmission and Secondary Schools follow television lessons that are transmitted by MoE television. But this didn’t come with an arrangement that all students continue their education rather it left the already disadvantaged poor children who were the ability to learn from home are far behind. And if the ministry of educationist didn’t announce to re-open schools in September 2020, their future would have been stolen for good as they.
According to a phone survey with school principals and teachers across seven (7) diverse regional states and 1 city administration (Amhara, Benishangul-Gumuz, Oromia, SNNP, Somali and Tigray and Addis Ababa), in both rural and urban locations conducted by RISE Ethiopia, found striking findings that 40% school principals had no access to the radio, television or internet in Somali Region at all, and other findings related to this in the other regional states of the country that they interviewed.
Imagine where school principals that were supposed to play the top role of continuing education by coordinating teachers to support students during school closure due to COVID-19 lingered on the line at all. So not to mention what children in these areas learned during school closure. And as an educationist, I shoutout to Ethiopia’s Country as the School reopening is a God sent for these children to attend face-to-face classes and protects their FULL FUTURE is stolen for good.
Today I am taking the opportunity of this year again to celebrate with you as I did the second International Day of Education of the last year’s January 24th by writing this piece you are reading now.
Therefore, I would like to say Happy International Day of Education to everyone- from organization to Individual whose hearts are with students, teachers, families and knows what it is like learning environment close their doors sent 1.6 billion of the world students in general and that 26 million of Ethiopia to home and pushing policy advocacy to ensure no one is left behind to-date and protecting their full potentials is never compromised.
Happy International Day of Education!