Helping children in Colombia access the education they deserve
This pandemic has held children and young people across the world back from receiving the education they deserve, and for many children in Colombia, remote education is not a viable alternative. Read what we've been doing to tackle this problem.
Over the past 11 months, with Covid-19 showing no signs of abating, governments across the world have closed schools in an attempt to contain the spread of the virus. According to UNICEF, 97% of children in Latin America are out of school due to COVID.
As has so often been the case throughout this pandemic, the effects of school closures have inflicted an uneven burden on Colombian children, with children living on low incomes and in vulnerable conditions the worst affected. Reports have shown that school closures have been linked to a sharp increase in the recruitment of children into criminal groups, and a worrying blindspot towards domestic violence faced by children, which would normally be caught by educators. There is also a growing crisis of youth unemployment in Colombia. According to the Colombian national statistics office, DANE, youth unemployment has risen from 16% in December 2019 to 21.6% in December 2020. This worrying trend will likely be worsened by missed education and training.
More directly, school closures have meant that many children in low-income or rural areas have missed out on almost an entire year of teaching. While many governments have chosen to shift towards remote learning, in Colombia only 50% of homes have internet access, with that number dropping to just 25% in rural areas. This has meant many children have had to forgo education for almost a year because they don’t have access to the technology necessary for remote learning.
At Children Change Colombia, we believe in ensuring that all children have access to high-quality learning if Children in Colombia are to break free from poverty and transform their communities, access to high-quality education is vital.
Thanks to your support, we have worked alongside Acadesan and Circulo de Estudios to tackle this problem, distributing 105 tablet computers in Quibdo and rural Choco. These devices will help over 500 children and young people to continue their education and will reduce the long-term impact of the pandemic on children in these communities. For the young people involved in the project, these tablets will allow them to complete training courses, finish this semester of university, or continue school that they otherwise would have missed out on.