Angelina Jolie calls for action to get children back to school
Angelina Jolie is to warn that children around the world left without schooling during the coronavirus crisis may never set foot in a classroom again unless action is taken.
The actress and humanitarian will call for practical assistance to ensure access to continuity of education for young people worldwide at a high-level virtual event on refugee education.
She will tell a Unesco and UNHCR round-table event on Monday: “For millions of children and youth, schools are a lifeline of opportunity as well as a shield. Classrooms offer protection — or at least a reprieve — from violence, exploitation and other difficult circumstances.
“Without urgent practical assistance, some of the children left without schooling worldwide due to the coronavirus may never set foot in a classroom again. We must find ways to try to ensure access to continuity of education for young people across the world.
“Ensuring education for refugee children is something we can make happen, if we all come together.”
Jolie is a special envoy for UNHCR – the United Nations refugee agency.
The Prime Minister’s special envoy for girls’ education, Baroness Sugg, will announce £5.3 million of new UK aid to support the salaries of more than 5,500 teachers in 10 of the world’s poorest refugee-hosting countries at the event.
It is hoped the support will help at least 300,000 vulnerable refugee children continue their education.
Around 1.5 billion children in more than 150 countries are out of school, compared to around 260 million worldwide before the coronavirus crisis.
International Development Minister Baroness Sugg will say: “Education must be prioritised in the global recovery from coronavirus. This epidemic is not just a health crisis, it is an education crisis, especially for refugee children.
“Without school and an education they will be unable to rebuild their lives and achieve their full potential.
“Supporting every child’s right to 12 years of quality education is one of the best investments the UK can make to end the cycle of displacement, poverty and conflict, as we recover from coronavirus. We urge our partners to match our ambition.”