40pc poor countries fail to back needy schoolchildren, says Unesco.

 
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ISLAMABAD -- A new report of Unesco has estimated that about 40 per cent of low and lower-middle income countries have not supported disadvantaged learners during temporary school shutdown because of the Covid-19 pandemic, and among the poorest 20 per cent of households in Pakistan, only 14 per cent own a television making distance learning hard.

The 'Global Education Monitoring Report 2020' published by Unesco on Tuesday, says low- and middle-income countries are at a far more disadvantaged starting point for an effective transition to online learning platforms.

The share of households with internet access at home was 47 per cent in developing countries, and 12 per cent in the least developed countries in 2019, compared with 87 per cent in developed countries. Internet bandwidth per internet user was 91 kbit/s in developing countries and 21kbit/s in developed countries.

The report says that learners with disabilities are at higher risk of exclusion in such circumstances. Many resources are not accessible for blind or deaf students even if the technology exists. Children with mild learning difficulties, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, may struggle with independent work in front of a computer.

By increasing isolation, the pandemic also increased the risk of marginalised students...

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