Some 7.6 million children are out of school across Ethiopia due to different man-made and natural disasters, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said in its latest education cluster update.
According to the quarterly publication issued Friday, a total of 8,552 schools reported either partially or severely damaged in Ethiopia, representing almost 20 percent of schools. “Education cluster data reveals that 7.6 million children remain out of school due to various shocks and hazards across Ethiopia.
The ongoing conflicts in Amhara, Oromia and other regions has increased the out of school children rate drastically,” the report said. It warned that the longer the period the children remain out of school, the less likely they are to return to formal learning.
It further warned that the education cluster continues to be one of the most underfunded clusters, with current funds allowing only for 22 percent coverage, accounting only 851,000 children, against the humanitarian response plan for Ethiopia.
The education cluster targets 3.8 million children, which is only 30 percent of the children in need as per 2023 calculations and planning.
Against this backdrop, it said teaching and learning materials were distributed to 357,948 children, and back-to-school campaigns have been held in all regions, including Amhara and Tigray, where children’s access to learning has been disrupted.