In November 2020, as schools gradually reopen after months of COVID-induced closure and socio-economic chaos, Street Child has carried out a rapid study to assess the extent of the education disruption in three of our major countries of operation: the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sierra Leone and Afghanistan. The findings are stark.
In Sierra Leone, the survey found that 1 in 10 students have failed to return to school since reopening in October. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, Street Child found that average attendance has dropped by one-third since schools reopened in October. In Afghanistan, however, the findings were much more encouraging with the study showing minimal disruption to Street Child‘s community-based education programming in Uruzgan Province.
In the coming days, a series of blog posts will set out, and explore, the survey’s findings in depth, which will also build on the unique ‘12,000 voices’, COVID-19 rapid assessment report Street Child published in May.
In many of these fragile and disaster-afflicted contexts, Street Child is the only actor on the ground responding to the education, protection and livelihood needs of children and families in order to mitigate the disruption of education during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. In response to this need Street Child launched our ‘A Future for Every Child’ campaign to safely return children to school where they are learning and protected; to provide alternative means for learning for children in contexts where schools are closed, and to rebuild resilient communities by supporting families suffering the economic impacts of the pandemic to rebuild their livelihoods in a sustainable way.
We need to act, and we need to act now because every child deserves a future.