The coronavirus pandemic has severely impacted the functioning and outcome of education systems. This is true across the world and affected all children, restricting their educational opportunities.
According to a report by UNESCO Institute of Statistics, the closure of educational institutes due to the pandemic has put an estimated 4.5 million girls at risk of missing school.
The closure of schools since March 2020 has proliferated the risk of thousands of girls never return to their schools.
“Such crises lead to long-lasting impacts on gender equality and education with irrevocable consequences on the most marginalized girls,” said the report.
“The risk of child labour, gender-based violence, early and forced marriage, and early and unintended adolescent pregnancy may increase, leading to many girls never returning to school.”
“Despite faring poorer in quality, girls’ access to education had increased significantly in the last two decades,” said Binay Kusiyait, Tribhuvan University professor.
“Though it is hard to say to what extent, the pandemic is surely taking away the achievement.”
The retention of children in school had been a challenge even before the pandemic. And the pandemic has further deteriorated the situation.
According to the government’s economic survey report for the FY 2020-21, over two-thirds of the students enrolled in Grade 1 drop out of the school by the time they reach Grade 12.
The report shows that the retention rate up to grade 12 in the current FY was 29.2 percent.
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