Children’s education — and their futures — are at risk
Over the past year, the COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on children’s education around the globe: nearly 90% of the world’s children have had their learning disrupted by school closures.
The consequences of school closures are devastating — with the most marginalized children paying the heaviest price.
When schools close, children risk losing out on more than just their learning: schools also provide children with vital health, immunization and nutrition services, protection from violence, and a safe and supportive environment.
For the estimated 24 million children who may never return to school, their futures are now at greater risk. Without an education, these children will face higher rates of lifelong poverty, lower life expectancy, and poorer health overall.
Vaccinating teachers against COVID-19 is critical
Every day, in Canada and around the world, teachers and education workers have gone above and beyond for their students – because they believe in children’s right to education.
UNICEF is calling for all governments — including Canada’s — to prioritize teachers and education workers to receive the COVID-19 vaccine after frontline health workers and other high-risk populations.
Simply put, we need to protect our teachers and education workers from community transmission and keep them healthy so they can stay safe and continue to play the critical role of teaching our children in the classroom.
We need to take action now
Getting children back in school must be a national and global priority.
We must respect and protect teachers and education workers as essential frontline workers who put themselves at risk to support our children’s right to education.
Provinces like Ontario and Quebec, and the Northwest Territories have already announced that teachers will be given priority access to the COVID-19 vaccine. But to help keep teachers safe and children in school across Canada and around the world, we need to see Canada’s leadership now.
By signing our action, you are sending a clear message to Canada’s federal government that providing safe, in-person schooling to children and young people — in Canada and around the world — must be a priority in the COVID-19 pandemic response.