COVID-19 has not only cost hundreds of thousands of jobs but turned the tide on students looking to complete their studies as the novel coronavirus continues to sweep several countries.
Around 24 Million Students Expected To Drop Out
Executive director of the United Nations Children's Fund Henrietta Fore said around 1.6 billion students had been forced to study from home since the pandemic started.
"At least 24 million children are projected to drop out of school due to COVID-19," Fore said. This asks questions about how governments should act on the effects of the pandemic on education.
Fore said, at this point, more than 870 million students had yet to return to school as parents continued to be cautious of sending their children back to classes owing to fears of school-linked transmissions.
For the U.N. Children's Fund, governments should concentrate on reopening schools safely or once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. When children are left out of school for a longer period "the less likely they are to return," Fore said.
However, the question of how safe in person learning is for returning students hasn't been answered, experts said.
England Schools Warn Of Stoppage Owing To Lack of Tests
In England, thousands of school teachers have sent letters to Education Secretary Gavin Williamson discussing the possibility of "partial rolling closures" in schools owing to a lack of testing among staff.
Problems with testing and testing centers have resulted in staff shortages at many England schools. Schools with teacher and other school staff shortages have sent children home.
For school leaders and unions, testing in the education sector can still be improved to prevent further problems.
"We will grind to a halt if the availability of tests does not improve rapidly," a primary school head teacher from Southampton said. There have been increasing calls for better testing facilities for school staff.
TV Education Systems In Africa
In March, Africa's governments told schools to shut down indefinitely as part of efforts to prevent further COVID-19 infections linked to the educational system.
To help younger students get access to education while schools are closed, Tanzanian nonprofit organization created a cartoon show that teaches proper pronunciation and other related basic education topics.
While other countries around the world have opted for online studies, many students in Africa don't have access to the internet - pushing governments to rely on shows like the ones Africa edutainment company Ubongo sells.
Schools in Africa are expected to reopen in January.
Pakistani Students Return To School
Meanwhile, in Pakistan, millions of students have returned to school following a six-month break as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As part of efforts to prevent coronavirus infections among school staff and students, social distancing rules have been established before schools reopened Tuesday.
Senior schools reopened this week but exams were canceled earlier in the year and the country's academic calendar was disrupted. Middle schools are expected to restart next week followed by primary school a week later.