According to the latest UNICEF report "Covid-19 and school closures, a year of interrupted education", Latin America and the Caribbean has been the region most affected by the prolonged school closures, 3 out of every 5 children who lost a full school year worldwide are in the region and approximately 60% of all students in Latin America and the Caribbean have not yet had access to face-to-face classes.
In other parts of the world, schools have gradually reopened, but in the region, although some countries had announced that they would resume face-to-face classes, this has not been possible due to the arrival of the second wave of Covid. This means that there are millions of children who will have to attend classes virtually this year as well, and this is already the case for two years.
The closure of schools unfortunately has implications that go beyond the guarantee of the right to education, the school is the space where many of the children receive their only nutritious meal of the day, where they have safe and protective spaces, where they socialize and develop their life skills. In terms of learning, hard-earned educational gains are being lost, many children may never return. The longer educational institutions remain closed, the less likely it is that the most vulnerable students will return to class, including those who have disabilities, are migrants or belong to indigenous communities.
As of the date of this report, only 7 countries in the LAC region have fully opened their schools, while in 12 countries and territories schools remain closed and in 17 countries schools are partially closed, approximately 114 million children and adolescents continue to be affected.
In this document we will review the status of school reopening, the existence of learning assessments and/or remedial education programs, monitoring mechanisms and Unicef-supported actions.