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Jakarta Post

Rural children across developing world facing education emergency

  • Senthil Nathan


Jakarta   /   Sat, August 15 2020   /  01:00 am
Children, who have missed their online classes due to a lack of internet facilities, maintain a safe distance as they listen to pre-recorded lessons over loudspeakers, after schools were closed following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Dandwal village in the western state of Maharashtra, India, July 28, 2020. Picture taken July 28, 2020. (REUTERS/Prashant Waydande)

I met Ibu Fathima (name changed) on a hot day in a small village, in North Sumatra, where she was tending her half-hectare farm. "I go and work as a labor in the neighboring farm as soon as I finish the work on my farm," she said with a smile. As a single mother, she also looks after the household and nurtures her two children. When I asked why she is working so hard and what she wants to accomplish in life, her answer is spontaneous: "I want my children to get educated and achieve great things in life". I remembered Ibu Fathima as I think of the millions of children who must miss school because of the COVID-19 pandemic. As schools remain closed, many children, especially from the poor and marginalized communities, might give up on education permanently. A recent report from Save the Children, a global charity, calls it as an 'unprecedented global education ...