Ethiopia: 2.3 Million Children out of School – SCI

Save the Children International (SCI) has called for urgent funding to help re-open schools in Ethiopia.

Development Diaries reports that more than 3.5 million children in the country are currently out of school following the impacts of armed conflict, making it one of the world’s worst education crises.

The organisation said about 2.3 million children remain out of school in northern Ethiopia alone despite last November’s peace agreement which sought to end the two-year conflict.

Recent data from the Ethiopia Education Cluster shows massive damage to schools across conflict-affected areas of Tigray, Amhara and Afar.

In Tigray alone, about 85 percent of schools have serious or partial damages as public schools remain closed.

Also, 22,500 teachers have gone without pay for more than two years.

‘The current humanitarian crisis in Ethiopia is one of the worst in recent memory’, SCI’s Country Director for Ethiopia, Xavier Joubert, said in a statement.

‘Conflict, hunger and the impact of the climate crisis have forced millions from their homes, resulting in countless children being forced to drop out of school’.

Children who are out of school for prolonged periods are at risk of exploitation, sexual violence, early marriage and child labour and lose their right to education.

‘It’s essential that school buildings, which have been damaged or destroyed by the conflict, are fixed, and that unpaid teachers receive an incentive for their work’, the statement added.

‘We are supporting children affected by the conflict to continue learning, but more needs to be done to ensure every last child affected by the humanitarian crisis, including conflict, has access to an education’.

It is understood that SCI is running safe spaces in the country where children can receive emotional support and are encouraged to express their feelings through games and role play.

The humanitarian organisation is also providing books and other learning materials to help children go back to school, but more needs to be done to meet people’s humanitarian needs, including children’s education.

Source: Save the Children

Photo source: Save the Children

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