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1bn students affected by virus closures, UN chief Guterres says

1bn students affected by virus closures, UN chief Guterres says

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Tuesday that the coronavirus pandemic has led to the largest disruption of education in history. Schools were closed in more than 160 countries in mid-July, affecting over a billion students, according to the UN chief.

He added that at least 40 million children worldwide have missed out on education “in their critical preschool year,” AP reports. Guterres warned that the world faces “a generational catastrophe that could waste untold human potential, undermine decades of progress, and exacerbate entrenched inequalities.”

“We are at a defining moment for the world’s children and young people,” Guterres said in a video message and a policy briefing. “The decisions that governments and partners take now will have lasting impact on hundreds of millions of young people, and on the development prospects of countries for decades to come.”