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[00:00:00]

I'm Jason Chaffetz. I'm Katie Pavlik. I'm Steve Doocy, and this is the Fox News rundown. Thursday, August 27, 2020. I'm trying. While many schools around the world have switched to remote learning, a third of children don't have access to the needed technology.

[00:00:18]

School children in the poorest countries are most affected and have most struggled with accessing remote learning, but also within countries. School children from the poorest households and those living in rural areas are by far the most likely to miss out. While schools often remain closed, this is the Fox News rundown.

[00:00:38]

Global pandemic. covid-19 has closed schools and forced educators to find new ways of teaching, though real challenges exist as students head back to class, both in person and online this fall. Over the next few minutes, you'll get the latest headlines on the global covid-19 outbreak and hear from Robert Jenkins, the global chief of education at UNICEF, starting first in India that saw its highest daily increase yesterday with more than 75000 new cases recorded. Although India has seen more than three point three million people infected with covid-19 since the pandemic began.

[00:01:16]

The true toll is likely much worse. Analysts warn the Indian government is still struggling with widespread testing and worries mortality could spike in the coming weeks. Now to Spain that has seen more than 80000 new cases over the past two weeks alone. The country's second wave is spiralling quickly out of control. Hospitals in Madrid are reportedly under the most pressure, and Spanish authorities are expected to implement harsher lockdown restrictions in the coming days. Finally, in Syria, more than 2500 total cases have been reported, though much larger outbreaks are likely in pockets of the country.

[00:01:49]

A new article in Foreign Policy magazine called Inside Syria's Secret Coronavirus Crisis details how the Assad regime is burying bodies in silence with limited testing and access to millions of internally displaced Syrians. The international community can't know just how bad things are with basic necessities for civilians not being met in many parts of Syria, the idea of education seems like an afterthought to many. But schooling is an issue in Syria and around the world.

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We issued a report that shows that at least a third of the world's schoolchildren worldwide have been unable to access remote learning during the school closures.

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This is Robert Jenkins, the global chief of education at UNICEF.

[00:02:31]

At the height of the nationwide, a local lockdown throughout the world, we had nearly one point five million schoolchildren being affected by school closures. I mean, these numbers would have been unthinkable prior to this pandemic. And many have been grappling with the realities of remote learning. And our report says today that based on our analysis, that four hundred and sixty three million of these schoolchildren have been left with no access to their education at all to school.

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It's something you don't think about when we talk about getting kids back to school in the United States. I think people are looking at virtual classrooms and saying this is a great idea to get students learning again during this pandemic. But as you rightly noted around the world, that is not the case. Where did you find was the most affected by the issue of not having the technology or access to remote learning?

[00:03:27]

Well, that's that's a great question. And we're finding the school children in the poorest countries are most affected and most struggled with accessing remote learning. So school children in sub-Saharan Africa have been at least have the least access to to remote learning with more than half the students unable to access, but also within countries, school children from the poorest households and those living in rural areas are by far the most likely to miss out, while schools have been remain closed.

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We have globally, 72 percent of unwaged school children live in the country's poorest households. So it's a disproportionately impacting on poor countries and children living in poor households.

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In the short term, effects of this are often obvious. Not being able to get kids in a classroom, not being able to get them to interact with teachers virtually and basically missing out on a portion or the entire school year, depending on where the students are located. What are some of the long term effects that UNICEF is most worried about when it comes to this difficulty for students around the world to access this crucial education?

[00:04:48]

I mean, the sheer scale at which school children have gone on constitutes a global education emergency needs to be said that this is building on a global learning crisis we were facing prior to the to the pandemic with thought prior to the pandemic, we had 260 million children out of school. Many in school were not learning at the levels that we thought we would be aspiring to the service that we would be aspiring to provide. So the pandemic has further exacerbated a global learning crisis prior, but the repercussions will be felt in economies and societies potentially for decades to come unless we can take remedial action as soon as possible.

[00:05:30]

Evidence on the impact of school closures is overwhelming, with the devastating consequences on children's learning for myself coming from the education sector, of course, we're focused on children's learning, but we also have to recognize that schools. Provide a range of services for children's well-being. Those children are most marginalized, benefit the most from that full range of services. Those include school meals, health support, water and sanitation in many countries are provided schools and provide for children, sometimes their only access, but also psychosocial support and to support the protection that schools provide.

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So school closures as a kind of wide ranging impact on particularly vulnerable children. And indeed, unless remedial action is taken urgently, it will have will have implications for decades to come.

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I mean, when you look at it through that lens, it is such a pressing emergency, an issue for the international community to focus on, because this is the next generation that, as you've noted, won't just have limited access to education, but also just basic necessities to get by and survive. And, you know, it's a snowball effect from there as to what can happen next in different parts of the world. What are some of the actions that countries around the world need to be taking right now?

[00:06:57]

And what actions are moving forward from the perspective of UNICEF and what is UNICEF doing to try to not only raise awareness to this issue, but also find solutions to some of these problems?

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So when schools closed throughout the world and as I mentioned, one point five billion school children were affected. We mobilized the entire organization in all countries. We were UNICEF with governments and education partners all around the world that all we could to provide remote learning, particularly focused on low and middle income countries in Africa, South Asia, Southeast Asia and Latin and South America. And that included it enabled world class digital education, but also the radio and television crews, a very useful tool to to enable children to learn those who have access.

[00:07:48]

Now we're shifting to supporting governments to plan for and and ensure safe reopening of schools from the best interest of the child's perspective and each context. That will look very different. But the three key points we're putting on the table and working with governments around the reopening is one, let's focus on, again, reaching the most marginalized and vulnerable to ensure they reach back into school and we reach them. We did see on this point previous school closures like in West Africa as a result of the Ebola crisis, where some countries schools were closed for six months.

[00:08:25]

One was for nine months. Some significant numbers of children, particularly adolescent girls, returned to school. So in the reopening process now that's underway that many countries are undergoing the importance of reaching the most vulnerable. That's number one. Number two, let's seize this opportunity to deliver the curriculum and learning in a big way, in a way that makes up for the learning loss, but accelerates also learning that children can catch up and be successful. And this is building on, again, the learning crisis we are experiencing before.

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So seize this opportunity to deliver learning of high quality for every child. That's number two. Number three, recognizing schools are a platform for a whole range of services. Let's do all we can to meet the needs of children, including their nutritional needs or health needs, the psychosocial needs. So let's seize the opportunity to reopen the schools, to meet the needs of children, particularly, again, the most marginalised.

[00:09:26]

You've been listening to Robert Jenkins, the global chief of education at UNICEF.

[00:09:31]

We'll be right back from Fox News podcast's. The campaign with Bredberg, with updates from reporters on the trail and in studio experts keeps you informed on the 2020 race. Go to Fox News podcast Dotcom and download the campaign with Bret Baer now. How do you make people care about this issue? Education in the United States is one conversation, but when we're talking about Southeast Asia or sub-Saharan Africa, oftentimes, whether it's education or any other major emergency or news story, it can be put to the side.

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So how do you make people care?

[00:10:06]

I think as we've been discussing on this during this conversation, I think being clear on what the challenges children are currently facing and potentially lifelong impact, if we don't address those challenges, it's clear that if a child's learning is compromised, which it absolutely is, particularly in poor countries, it can have lifelong implications for children in terms of lifelong learning, even a lower life expectancy, poor health outcomes. So to be clear on what we're talking about and the implications of not reaching children with learning opportunities now, but also I think it's an optimistic message I want to provide.

[00:10:48]

And I think that's also how people can get a gauge, which is to understand the extent to which teachers, parents, children themselves are going to deal with this crisis, give examples of the the the extra effort that everyone is putting in to address this crisis, but also to give those sort of best examples of where is it working, how are we reaching children at scale? Hundreds of thousands of children, millions of children in some countries are learning today that would otherwise not have been able to learn if it wasn't for the support of of the global population.

[00:11:27]

And organizations like UNICEF are working day in and day out to make that happen. And the thing about this crisis, because I think of the scale, is it has mobilized more than this amount of global solidarity and effort to reach children, something that that's what I guess inspired by is just to see the level of commitment and dedication to enable children to learn in these in these trying times. So we are documenting those experiences. We're showing the evidence of what's working.

[00:11:56]

We're showing the evidence of what's possible. And but again, I want to emphasize the importance of that. This does require resources. It does require all of us working very closely together and and and that indeed, we need all the support we can get at the moment. The 360 approach to this issue of education is so important because, as you know, it's not just about access to education, it's about access to things like food, water, psychological support.

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And the list really does go on. Robert Jenkins, the global chief of education at UNICEF. Robert, thank you again for your time.

[00:12:38]

Thank you very much. I really appreciate it. You've been listening to the Fox News rundown and stay up to date by subscribing to this podcast at Fox News podcasts, Dotcom, and for up to the minute news, go to Fox News dot com.