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The World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) have urged African governments to reopen schools safely during the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to the two agencies, prolonged closure of schools is harmful to the students.

Students are being exposed to teenage pregnancies, poor nutrition, violence among other challenges.

Online learning in Africa is a big challenge as 80% of the students don’t have access to internet and electricity.

“We must not be blind-sided by our efforts to contain COVID-19 and end up with a lost generation. Just as countries are opening businesses safely, we can reopen schools,” said Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO regional director for Africa.

“Schools have paved the way to success for many Africans. They also provide a safe haven for many children in challenging circumstances to develop and thrive,” she said at a virtual press conference Thursday

“The long-term impact of extending the school shutdown risks even greater harm to children, their future and their communities,” said UNICEF regional director for Eastern and Southern Africa, Mohamed M. Malick Fall.

According to a survey done by WHO in 39 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, only 6 countries in Africa have fully reopened schools for learning.

Some countries reopened for final-year students who were to write examinations. Others reopened and closed again after a surge in virus cases.

Countries like Kenya scrapped off the 2020 academic year.

Over 1 Million covid-19 cases have been recorded in the African continent, with the virus claiming nearly 25,000 lives.

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