With world poverty on the rise due to the effects of COVID-19, the impact of the loss of education on a generation needs to be addressed.
To ensure the worlds poorest children can break the cycle of poverty, Compassion Australia is focussing on supporting the education of children most impacted.
Across the world, 258 million school aged children do not attend school, with many not returning following COVID-19 related school closures. Without quality education, children living in poverty are far more likely to be trapped as adults in low-skilled, poorly paid and insecure employment, preventing them from breaking intergenerational cycles of disadvantage.
According to the World Bank, school closures in lower income countries were up to three times longer than the rest of the world, causing many children and youth to miss out on the level of academic learning they would ordinarily have acquired over the same period, with younger and more marginalised children missing out the most.
Compassion Indonesia Director Handoko Ngadiman says, “The reality is, we have lost a generation because of the impact of COVID-19 on education.”
In response to the growing education crisis for children in poverty, Compassion Australia has launched its Restore a Generation appeal to raise much needed funds for education and training support.
“The impact of COVID-19 on children’s education has been enormous,” says Compassion Australia CEO Clare Steele. “Without a solid education, children are unable to reach their God-given potential, explore their dreams or break the cycle of generational poverty.”
“Research tells us that education plays an essential role in seeing children released from poverty, and that education attainment is an important predictor of future employment, welfare and health prospects.”
During the pandemic, many teachers in developing countries were unable to facilitate remote learning due to inadequate training or resources, while many families had no internet access—or sometimes even electricity—to allow their children to continue learning from home.
“Sadly, families living in poverty often have to choose between sending their child to school or providing other basic needs,” says Clare. “Even if families do not have to pay tuition fees, school comes with the added costs of uniforms, books, supplies or exam fees.”
“We have a small window of time to respond to this worldwide education crisis and Compassion is well placed in some of the worlds most vulnerable nations to respond, but we need the help of Australians to help make restoring a generation a possibility.”
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About Compassion Australia
Compassion is a Christian international child development charity with more than 70 years’ experience working with some of the world’s most vulnerable children through local churches. Compassion is Christ-centred, child-focused, church-based and seeks to release children from poverty in Jesus’ name. At present, 2.1 million children attend Compassion’s program centres in 27 developing countries. More than 90,000 Australians sponsor a child through Compassion Australia.