Amid coronavirus outbreak, school closures are disrupting the education of approximately 290 million students globally, according to UNESCO. The deadly virus has now reached nearly 80 countries and territories and more than 95,000 people have already been infected. UNESCO chief Audrey Azoulay, in a press release also said that if the current education disruption is prolonged, it could further threaten the right to education.
Azoulay said, “While temporary school closures as a result of health and other crises are not new, unfortunately, the global scale and speed of the current educational disruption is unparalleled and, if prolonged, could threaten the right to education”.
According to UNESCO's press release, 13 countries have closed schools and nine others have also implemented localised closures. However, Azoulay said that the organisation is working with countries to assure the continuity of learning for all, especially disadvantaged children and youth who tend to be the hardest hit by school closures. Furthermore, UNESCO will also convene an emergency meeting on March 10 to share responses and strategies to maintain the continuity of learning and assure inclusion and equity.
On Wednesday Italy reportedly ordered schools and universities to be shut until March 15 as the nationwide death toll rose to 107, which is the deadliest outbreak outside China. South Korea has also postponed the start of the current term until March 23 as it has the largest number of cases worldwide. Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has also called for classes to be cancelled through March and spring break and on the other hand, France has ordered some 120 schools to be closed this week.
First detected in the city of Wuhan, in Hubei Province of China, the virus outbreak has now spread across more than 70 countries since December 2019. As per reports, the total number of confirmed cases within China has reportedly hit nearly 80,000 and more than 95,000 worldwide. According to reports, the death toll in China has also surpassed 3,000 and the National Health Commission also confirmed more than 139 new cases. The death toll due to the deadly virus across the world also mounted to 3,283.