COVID-19: Students face $17 trillion loss in lifetime earnings

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic many children have fallen behind in their learning due to a lack of internet access. (Photo via UNICEF)

(United Nations News) School closures during the COVID-19 pandemic could result in a staggering $17 trillion in lost lifetime earnings for today’s students, according to a UN-backed report issued on Monday. 

The projection is among the findings of The State of the Global Education Crisis: A Path to Recovery, published by the World Bank, the UN Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (UNESCO) and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF). 

The figure is calculated in present value, representing roughly 14 per cent of current Gross Domestic Product (GDP). 

It far exceeds the $10 trillion estimates from a year ago, revealing that the impact is more severe than previously thought.

The pandemic brought education systems across the world to a halt, said Jaime Saavedra, World Bank Global Director for Education.  More than 20 months later, millions of children remain shut out of school, while others may never return. 

Furthermore, the report shows that in low and middle-income countries, the share of children living in “learning poverty” could jump from 53 per cent to 70 per cent. 

Read more at: United Nations News

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