United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) India inaugurated an installation of a 'Pandemic Classroom' at a mall in Delhi on Children's Day which is set to be on display till World Children's Day (November 20).
The entire installation was set up at an amphitheater at Select CITYWALK in New Delhi's Saket.
Behind each empty chair hangs an empty backpack - a reminder of a child waiting for their potential to be explored. 🎒🪑— UNICEF India (@UNICEFIndia) November 14, 2021
Show your support for learning recovery #ForEveryChild.
They are counting on us. 🙏#ChildrensDay pic.twitter.com/fdvqlLrRcz
Pandemic And Education
The COVID-19 pandemic started off as a health crisis. however, it turned into a learning crisis quickly with school being closed for a long time— a major issue of the pandemic. This had a massive toll not just on education but also on the physical and psychological wellbeing of the kids.
With social distancing becoming a mandatory norm, online learning turned into the sole resort resulting in numerous children being left out due to lack of internet connectivity. As per UNICEF's rapid assessment conducted in six states in 2020 - Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Assam, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and Gujarat, 76% of parents of children between the ages of 5-13 years, and 80% adolescents between 14-18 years, reported learning way less when compared to offline classes.
"Each empty desk in this symbolic pandemic classroom is dedicated to the millions of children who have faced learning challenges. With each passing day, every child who misses out on learning falls further behind in their development and many may never return to school. Unfortunately, the most vulnerable are paying the heaviest price of school closures and many have forgotten to read or write," Yasumasa Kimura, UNICEF India Representative was quoted as saying by ANI.
Learning And Innovation
Bollywood actor and UNICEF Celebrity Advocate Kareena Kapoor Khan in her video message stated, "Learning and education for every child is something that is very close to my heart. Now that many schools are reopening across India, we must rejoice that children are back, learning and having fun with their friends. At the same time, we must also remember some children have not been able to access remote learning or home-based education".
Let's together join hands to give children a safe and protective environment that helps them learn.— UNICEF India (@UNICEFIndia) November 14, 2021
Let's together, #reimagine education that is safe, inclusive, and flexible.
Kareena Kapoor Khan, #UNICEF India Celebrity Advocate shares a message #ForEveryChild.#ChildrensDay pic.twitter.com/3to5pWXinc
Meanwhile, Professor Venita Kaul said: "Many children, especially the youngest, have not had any exposure to a school and need the opportunity to start from scratch. Others may have lost out not only on skills they may have learnt but more importantly on the disposition and habits important for school learning, such as focusing on a given task, sitting at the desk for the required number of hours and building new relationships.
UNICEF Country Representative Yasumasa Kimura and two adolescents officially unveiled the pandemic classroom installation by ringing a bell.