All 9-year-old Saeron in South Korea wants is to play ball with his friends on the school yard again. 17-year-old Yudha in Indonesia has to climb a hill above his village in the valley because that’s the only place he has internet reception for his smartphone. Although carpentry trainees at the Johann Ludwig Schneller School (JLSS) in Lebanon have been given a simple tablet by the school, it is still impossible to teach practical skills such as sanding a table.
Around 1.5 billion children worldwide were unable to attend school at the height of the lockdowns during the Corona pandemic, and at least 168 million of them have not received any education at all since March 2020 (UNICEF, March 2021). And even those children and young people who did have some form of education during this time have huge gaps: Because there is no access to the internet, they have to share smartphones or computers with other children, or simply because they have no reliable electricity supply.
Learning in corona time also means not seeing teachers and friends. It means not getting a school meal - sometimes the only reliable meal of the day for children from very poor families. Children are increasingly exposed to violence in their families and in their immediate environment because school is no longer a safe space. For many children, the long absence from school means that their school days are over and they have to work and support their families because their father or mother has lost their job. They will probably not graduate and have poorer opportunities for life.
An international editorial team set the theme "When learning becomes special - education in difficult times" for the first EMS Insights and contributed reports and features. On 16 pages you can learn more about the children and young people who put faces to the frightening figures - but also about many other things that keep us busy at EMS at this time.
The new EMS magazine will be sent out next week. From Easter it will also be available for download in German and English on our website.