Edition 2022 - Finalist
Dear Diary: I promise to cut my long hair when schools reopen. I lost 260 days of school up to now. My name is Antonella and I’m 12 years old.
With 8% of the world’s population, Latin America has suffered around a third of recorded deaths from covid-19. Its economies contracted by 7% last year, compared to 3.5% of the world as a whole. Much less discussed is that Latin America’s schools have stayed shut for longer than those in any other region.
Before the pandemic, education was already a problem in Latin America, plagued by deep structural inequalities that mirrored the wide income inequality in the region. The pandemic has made this bad situation worse. Latin American children have lost on average around 4 months more of class time than students elsewhere in the world. Children’s future is under threat. Ignoring this tragedy could lead to intractable crises that, like in Central America, have no quick, easy solutions.
Education should be an equal priority if Latin America is not to fail a whole generation.