The education of hundreds of millions of children in a quarter of the world's countries is at extreme or high risk of collapsing, Save the Children said today. New analysis from the organisation finds that factors such as climate change, a lack of COVID-19 vaccines, displacement, attacks on schools and lack of digital connectivity are jeopardising access to schooling.
The news that education is on the brink of collapse in 48 countries comes as academic school years tentatively re-start in many parts of the world with millions of children still unable to go into the classroom due to COVID-19 safety measures, economic impacts of the pandemic and continued attacks on education. This is on top of the 258 million children across the world who were already out of school prior to the pandemic.
Leaders need to learn from the COVID-19 education crisis, which has disrupted schooling for more than 90% of the world's learners, and shock-proof education systems to ensure children in a quarter of the world's countries don't have their futures stripped from them.
The new data, which is the first of its kind, follows recent Save the Children research, which found that on average, children in low-income countries have lost 66% more of their lifetime schooldays during the pandemic compared with their peers in more well-off countries.
According to Save the Children's new report the DRC, Nigeria, Somalia, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Sudan, Mali, and Libya have education systems that are at 'extreme risk'. Syria and Yemen follow closely behind.