Most of the universities across Latin America have started teaching online following the outbreak of coronavirus, but students are dropping out, largely due to the patchy internet coverage and their inability to purchase computing devices.
If the pandemic lasts longer, millions of students will be out of universities, The New York Times has warned in a special report. New enrolments in universities are expected to decline by as much as 25% in most of the major economies in the region.
The pandemic is not only plunging thousands of families into poverty, it is also threatening to throw the countries dream of building a knowledge-based economy into doubt.
The pandemic has devastated the region’s economy so much that many countries are now considering slashing educational spending.
The number of resources available for education could be decreased by as much as 9% in 2020 alone, according to UNESCO.
Without the pandemic, says the UN agency, educational spending in the region would have increased by 3.6 % between 2019 and 2020.