The economic cost of closing schools
A lost generation of children because of pandemic related school closures
The economic costs of school closures amidst the pandemic could be huge. 2 billion school days have been missed so far around the world, and millions more are to come. Experts are warning of a lost generation with many children losing key skills to earn their way out of poverty. Even in the rich world, this cohort could see their future incomes fall considerably. So are governments paying enough attention? Does education have to be the trade off for public health and the economy in the pandemic? We hear from Stefania Giannini Assistant Director-General for Education, UNESCO who tells us that disadvantaged children will suffer the most, whilst Dr Randa Grob Zakhary, CEO, Insights for Education says that different countries have taken different approaches to education during the pandemic with starkly different results. Nisha Ligon is the co-founder of Ubongo, Africa’s biggest EdTech non-profit, who has had a busy year filling the demand for home learning in African countries with limited access to modern technology. Plus educational economist Eric Hanushek, a fellow of the Hoover Institution, Stanford University has been crunching the numbers on the impact on GDP and personal earnings for the current cohort of school children being locked out of school.
(Image: School gates with closed sign. Credit: Press Association)