UN, World Bank urge government to uphold in-class learning

[19-01-2022 09:39 PM]

Ammon News - UNICEF, UNESCO, WHO and the World Bank urged the Jordanian government to uphold in-class learning to prevent affecting school children.

They commended Jordan's efforts to avoid affecting the school learning process and for opening school, amid national efforts to ensure the necessary health measures are in place for safe learning and that both children and teachers have the skills and tools they need to effectively catch up.

They urged the authorities to avoid reversing years of progress in education, adding this will be made possible by continuing to apply the safe reopening framework that seeks to keep in-class learning available for the majority of students.

"Time is of essence to help children who have already lost almost two years of in-person learning. The focus must be on getting the most vulnerable children who are facing a shadow pandemic of child labour, early marriage and mental health issues, and are most at risk of dropping out, back to school," said Tanya Chapuisat, a UNICEF representative.

"The COVID-19 pandemic has already placed restrictions and immense pressures on children everywhere. Returning to school should be an exciting time for them and contributes to their physical and mental development...," said Jamela Raiby, a WHO representative.

"Early indications from the recent mid-term review of Jordan’s Education Strategic Plan (ESP) already point to alarming learning and equity losses due to the pandemic. Stronger prioritisation on reopening schools and keeping them open and mainstreaming of remedial education approaches within public schools will be critical, especially for children from low-income households, children with special needs, and refugee children," said Min Jeong Kim, a UNESCO representative.

"Disruptions to instructional time in the classroom can have a severe impact on a child’s future ability to learn. Learning losses can far exceed the actual school closure time...," said Holly Benner, a World Bank representative.

The cost of keeping schools closed is significant as children who fall behind in their education are more likely to drop out, affecting Jordan’s human capital outcomes and the ability of the young to secure job opportunities and economic opportunities in the longer term.

Simulations suggest that students have lost up to 0.9 years of schooling in Jordan, adjusted for quality. It is estimated that in Jordan students’ future earnings may fall as much as 8 percent.

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