Many parents are worried about a number of issues that may pop up as they prepare to send their kids back to school.
Of these, the parents of children who have been admitted to Grade One in 2021 and had no access to a pre-school education due to the pandemic are deeply concerned.

Many of these children were unable to pursue an online education either.

A discussion with regard to the commencement of pre-schools in the Western Province is scheduled to be held on January 25.

Pre-schools in other provinces opened on January 11.


Worldwide issue

At least 40 million children worldwide have missed out on early childhood education in their critical pre-school year as COVID-19 shuttered childcare and early education facilities, according to a research brief published by UNICEF.

Produced by UNICEF’s Office of Research – Innocenti, the research brief looks at the state of childcare and early childhood education globally and includes an analysis of the impact of widespread COVID-19 closures of these vital family services.

“Education disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic are preventing children from getting their education off to the best possible start,” said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore. “Childcare and early childhood education build a foundation upon which every aspect of children’s development relies. The pandemic is putting that foundation under serious threat.”

The UNICEF report noted that lockdowns have left many parents struggling to balance childcare and paid employment, with a disproportionate burden placed on women who, on average, spend more than three times longer on care and housework than men.

The closures have also exposed a deeper crisis for families of young children especially in low- and middle-income countries, many of whom were already unable to access social protection services.
Childcare is essential in providing children with integrated services, affection, protection, stimulation and nutrition and, at the same time, enable them to develop social, emotional and cognitive skills.
-With inputs from BBC

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