West and central Africa’s closed schools putting children at risk, Unicef warns

Only seven out of 24 countries have reopened classrooms with Covid-safe measures, leaving millions unable to access education

Only one in three countries in west and central Africa have reopened their schools, leaving children at risk of child marriage, early pregnancy and recruitment by local armed groups, Unicef has warned.

Six months after schools across the region closed under lockdown measures, just seven out of 24 countries – Benin, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Chad, the Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea and Sierra Leone – have been able to put measures in place to make classrooms safe for reopening, including hygiene stations and social distancing.

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