A teacher gives an online class at school, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Seoul, South Korea, April 9, 2020.
Photo: Heo Ran/ Reuters
Guterres launched a U.N. “Save our Future” campaign in a video statement on Tuesday (August 4), according to Reuetrs.
He said as of mid-July schools were closed in some 160 countries, affecting more than 1 billion students, while at least 40 million children have missed out on pre-school.
“Now we face a generational catastrophe that could waste untold human potential, undermine decades of progress, and exacerbate entrenched inequalities,” he said.
“Once local transmission of COVID-19 is under control, getting students back into schools and learning institutions as safely as possible must be a top priority,” he said. “Consultation with parents, careers, teachers and young people is fundamental.”
The U.N. recommendations for getting global education back on track come as U.S. President Donald Trump pushes for schools to reopen in the face of opposition from some teachers and parents while COVID-19 is surging in many parts of the country.
Appeared in China late last year, the coronavirus has infected at least 18.1 million people in the world and there have been more than 689,000 known deaths worldwide, according to the Reuters tally.