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Monday, November 29, 2021

UNICEF calls for safe reopening of schools on World Children’s Day

Iconic buildings and monuments to Go Blue in support of child rights on World Children’s Day, 20 November 2021

By: Parenting Desk | New Delhi |
November 13, 2021 7:05:57 pm
UNICEF will observe World Children's Day celebrations. (Representative/Express photo by Amit Mehra)

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented disruptions to children’s education, with schools closed for long periods across India. Children are losing a lot more than just education – they have lost time with their teachers and friends, nutritious school meals and in some cases – a safe haven that prevents abuse and violence. As the world commemorates the 32 years of the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) on 20 November, on this World Children’s Day (WCD), UNICEF India will put the spotlight on prioritizing safe reopening of schools and learning recovery, it announced in a press release.

According to the release, the theme for this year’s WCD is to help children to recover from interruptions and learning losses experienced through the pandemic in the last two years. UNICEF India along with its partners have lined up a series of events between 14 November and 20 November 2021– both in the virtual and physical spaces – to bring light to this issue.

Schools are starting to slowly reopen in India. (Express photo by Praveen Khanna)

Nov 14-20: Pandemic classroom installation

When: November 14 – 20

Where: Open Amphitheatre, Select City Walk Mall, Saket, New Delhi

What: An installation of a pandemic classroom that will highlight the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on children’s education, learning and well-being.

Who: The week-long installation will be inaugurated on 14 November by Mr. Yasumasa Kimura, UNICEF India Representative a.i. and two adolescents. Noted educationist, Dr. Venita Kaul, Professor Emeritus, Early Childhood Education, Ambedkar University is invited as a speaker.

Why: The installation puts a spotlight on the need to urgently re-open schools safely to avert a lost generation and make up for what children have missed out – from learning to social interaction and more.

Nov 18: Launch of Changing Childhood Project Report – a landmark poll

UNICEF will release findings of The Changing Childhood Project- a landmark poll by UNICEF and Gallup that asked multiple generations for their views on the world and what it is like to be a child today. For the project, more than 21,000 people between 15-24 years old and 40 years old and up were surveyed in 21 countries, including India.

UNICEF India will release the India findings as part of a press release covering a wide variety of topics including the digital divide and inter-generational differences. The data will be embargoed until 00:01 GMT 18 November 2021.

Nov 19-20: Iconic buildings and historic monuments to #GoBlue

Monuments across the country – from the Rashtrapati Bhavan, Parliament House, North and South Block, and Qutub Minar in New Delhi, and other historical buildings, landmarks and iconic government buildings across India – will be lit up in blue lights on 19-20 November, signifying the nation-wide celebration of child rights and to put the spotlight on Learning Recovery. UNICEF will issue photos of these buildings – please contact Sonia Sarkar for more information.

Nov 20: Charter of Demands presented to Parliamentarians on prioritising children’s education and their recovery

Young people across the world are speaking up about the impact of prolonged school closures and learning inequities. They are urging governments to take urgent steps for ensuring reopening of schools with appropriate safety measures in place.

The release mentioned that UNICEF India in partnership with the Parliamentarians’ Group for Children (PGC) will organise a Parliament with Children on 20 November 2021, in the presence of Members of Parliament. PGC is a platform that convenes, informs and engages Members of Parliament on issues of children’s rights. At the event, children will present their demands to re-open schools.

Support from corporate partners

As a part of its corporate engagement, UNICEF partners, such as Google India, Oracle India, Kimberly-Clark India, Ibis, Housing.com, B-Medical systems, INIO Media network will lend their platforms for children and highlight WCD theme for the year 2021.

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