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COVID-19 disruptions takes toll on education in Philippines

Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN –  Less than 15 per cent of schoolchildren in the Philippines, or about three in every 20, can read simple texts in large part due to the longest schools closure of more than 70 weeks as of the middle of February caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) said in a report.

The latest Unicef assessment translates to a learning poverty – defined by the World Bank as the share of 10-year-olds who cannot read or understand a simple story – of more than 85 per cent, which is slightly better than the World Bank estimate of as high as 90 per cent in November of last year.

Learning poverty in 2019, or before the pandemic happened, was 69.5 per cent, according to the World Bank.

Unicef’s latest joint report with the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) and the World Bank titled Where are We on Education Recovery? showed that schools in the Philippines had been closed from face-to-face classes the longest among the 122 countries that the report covered.

More details on Monday’s Borneo Bulletin