Bangladesh would do well to take seriously the threat to its children’s well-being
The coronavirus pandemic has caused serious disruption to our lives, changing all aspects of how we function as a society.
This disruption is most evident in the lives of children, whose education, nutrition, and overall well-being may experience irreversible harm, leading to what Unicef has deemed a “lost generation.”
While coronavirus infections cause relatively mild symptoms among children, there is a serious long-term threat that it poses due to the widespread shutdown of children’s education and inadequate health care -- the course of their future may well have altered, leading to an entire generation of children who may not receive the services necessary for growth and sustenance.
As of November 3, according to a study conducted across 87 countries, children and adolescents under the age of 20 accounted for one in nine Covid-19 infections, or 11% of the total number of cases found in these countries.
This is no small number, and Bangladesh would do well to take seriously the threat to its children’s well-being into account moving forward.
Evidence suggests that, given that basic safety measures are put into place, the benefits of opening up schools can very well outweigh the risk that it poses of having them closed. In this regard, the government has already taken steps to prepare a short-syllabus term for primary education this year, which could negate some of the detrimental loss of education that children have experienced so far.
As long as we continue to prioritize the health, education, and well-being of children, we can continue to provide them with quality services which ensure that their futures are protected as we enter a second year of the pandemic.
Merely forcing schools shut until a vaccine comes along will not be enough in order to prevent a potentially devastating loss to our future generation.