By Tobias Lengnan Dapam
A recent survey by Save the Children International (SCI) has indicated that children from poorest households were worst affected across the globe.
The survey said children suffered greatest loss of family income, missed out most on education and faced the highest risk of violence at home.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on the education of children from poorer backgrounds and is widening the gap between rich and poor, and boys and girls.
“In the six months since the pandemic was announced, the most vulnerable children have disproportionately missed out on access to education, healthcare, food, and suffered the greatest protection risks.”
SCI said the survey was the largest global survey conducted among 25,000 children and adults on the impact of the pandemic.
SCI said it interviewed “8,069 children between 11 and 17 years old and 17,565 adults across 37 countries, all beneficiaries of Save the Children. Most of the interviewed children were in Asia (45%), followed by East and southern Africa (20%), Latin America (14%), the Middle East (10%) and West and Central Africa (8%). The surveys were done online and over the phone.”
The global survey revealed that; “Two thirds of the children had no contact with teachers at all, during lockdown; eight in ten children believed they had learned little or nothing since schools closed.
Another 93% of households that lost over half of their income due to the pandemic reported difficulties in accessing health services.
“Violence at home doubled when schools were closed: when schools were closed, the reported rate was 17% compared to 8% when schools were open and the child was able to attend in person.
63% of girls are more often tasked to do more chores around the house, compared to 43% of boys.”
The survey further suggested that investment in education, health and nutrition, child protection services, mental health services and safety nets are urgently needed.