2020 Was A Challenging Year For Children in SA
This year has been challenging for children as the COVID-19 lockdown has caused many disruptions in schooling actvities and highlighted many adversities children face day to day.
To date the affect of COVID-19 on children's health has not been as severe, however the lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic has negatively impacted children's rights, access to education and water and sanitation says Toby Fricker from Unicef Communications.
He says that children have faced these issues prior to the coronavirus pandemic but it has been highlighted within this period.
South Africa has made progress in reducing infant mortality, sustainable developments goals and the government's national development plans and Fricker feels as though the real challenge which exists now is for the country to have a collective response to support children and young people.
According to official statistics approximately 1 000 children are murdered every year in South Africa, with nearly three murders occurring per day. Despite this large number it is said that this may be an undercount. This is just one issue out of the many that South African children face.
During the pandemic children have been subjected to violence in their homes by people who they know. Fricker says more must be done to mitigate this and mental health support must be provided for victims of abuse.
"We need to bring in civil society and young people and children themselves to have a say in what is a better future, how can they reimagine a safer, fairer and better future for children in South Africa." Unicef Communications, Toby Fricker.
Fricker says that the pandemic has provided children with the opportunity to engage online in discussions about what children and young people need. He also says that this has shone light on the divide and inequalities that exist as not all children have access to computers, data and internet.
He has called on the private sector to provide more opportunities for young children to engage in these discussions both online and offline.
South Africa has a large percentage of unemployed youth. However, the Department of Higher Education and Training contracted the Human Sciences Research Council to research and establish a mechanism to support skills planning and training of students in preparation for the labour market.
First Year registrations for the 2021 academic year are open at Walter Sisulu University. They are excited to welcome the First Year students to the university.
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