COVID-19: UNICEF unveils Pandemic Classroom at UN Headquarters in New York to raise awareness about the more than 168 million children globally without access to in-class learning for almost a full year
NEW YORK - MARCH 02: In this handout image provided by UNICEF and released on 00:01 GMT March 3, 2021, to call attention to the education emergency wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic, and to and raise awareness of the need for governments to keep schools open, UNICEF unveiled "Pandemic Classroom" - a model classroom made up of 168 empty desks, each seat representing one million children living in countries where schools have been almost entirely closed since the onset of lockdowns - at the UN Headquarters in New York City. "With every day that goes by, children unable to access in-person schooling fall further and further behind, with the most marginalized paying the heaviest price," said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore. "No effort should be spared to keep schools open" or prioritise them in reopening plans." On the installation, Fore added, "Behind each empty chair hangs an empty backpack - a placeholder for a child's deferred potential... We do not want shuttered doors and closed buildings to obscure the fact that our children's futures are being put on indefinite pause." School closures have devastating consequences for children's learning and wellbeing. The majority of schoolchildren worldwide rely on their schools as a place where they can interact with their peers, seek support, access health and immunization services and a nutritious meal. The longer schools remain closed, the longer children are cut off from these critical elements of childhood. (Photo by Chris Farber/UNICEF via Getty Images)
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March 02, 2021
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