Tags: Coronavirus | Guterres | schools | reopen | unitednations

UN Chief Warns of 'Generational Catastrophe' Because of COVID School Closures

the u.n. general assembly is full
António Guterres, UN Secretary-General speaks  at the first ever United Nations Youth Climate Summit on September 21, 2019 in New York City. (Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 04 August 2020 07:01 PM

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Tuesday that returning students to schools must be a top priority or the world faces a “generational catastrophe.”

In a four minute and 41 second video, the 71-year-old former Portuguese prime minister and socialist said that in mid-July 169 countries had schools closed because of the novel coronavirus, affecting 1 billion students and that 40 million had “missed out on education in a critical pre-school year.”

“The COVID-19 pandemic has led to the largest disruption of education ever,” Guterres said. "Now we face a generational catastrophe that could waste untold human potential, undermine decades of progress and exacerbate entrenched inequalities.”

Declaring the world in "a defining moment" concerning education, he said that once local transmission is under control, “getting students back into schools and learning institutions as safely as possible must be a top priority.”

It was the first of four planks of the United Nations’ "Save Our Future" campaign.

The campaign also called for increasing education funding; targeting minority groups, disabled and displaced people and those in “emergencies and crises;” and to “reimagine” education with “forward-looking” systems.

"The decisions that governments and partners take now will have lasting impact on hundreds of millions of young people, and on the development prospects of countries for decades to come," Guterres said.

“We must take bold steps now, to create inclusive, resilient, quality education systems fit for the future."

There have been nearly 18.7 million confirmed infections of the novel coronavirus throughout the world since it first emerged in China last fall, with more than 700,000 deaths as a result, according to worldometers.info.

New daily infections reached a seven-day moving average high of just over 260,000 on July 30 and has remained relative stable since. Similarly, the seven-day average of daily reported deaths have remained at about 5,700 since July 25 after reaching a peak of 7,044 on April 18, dropping to 4,149 on May 26 and then rising again.
 

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United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Tuesday that returning students to schools must be a top priority or the world faces a "generational catastrophe."...
Guterres, schools, reopen, unitednations
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2020-01-04
Tuesday, 04 August 2020 07:01 PM
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