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Covid disruption could cost pupils in England up to £46,000, finds report

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Covid disruption could cost pupils in England up to £46,000, finds report

Pupils in England whose learning has been severely disrupted by the pandemic could lose up to £46,000 in lifetime earnings, costing the economy hundreds of billions of pounds, without additional government investment, according to research.

The report by the Education Policy Institute (EPI) identified stark regional differences in learning loss – with pupils in parts of the north and Midlands worst affected – which it warned would undermine the government’s levelling-up agenda.

It also said the government’s national tutoring programme, set up to support disadvantaged children who have lost out the most, was faltering with low take-up in the north, where it is most needed, and that schools were struggling to meet growing costs.

The EPI’s modelling found that pupils in England would lose at least £16,000 in earnings – rising to £46,000 for those who have experienced the most learning loss – if the government fails to intervene. Researchers estimated that the total cost to the economy in the long run could be as high as £463bn.

Natalie Perera, the EPI chief executive, said the government’s £3.1bn education recovery programme fell well short of the £13.5bn funding package the EPI believes is required to help children catch up, and called on the Treasury to prioritise education recovery in the forthcoming spending review.

“Without a bold education recovery funding settlement targeted at those pupils who need it most, any wider plans from the government to address longstanding regional inequalities are consigned to fail,” she said.

According to the EPI, the government is spending about £310 a pupil on education recovery, compared with £2,000 a pupil in the US and the Netherlands. On regional disparities, it said average learning loss in primary maths measured last December ranged between 0.5 months in the south-west and 5.3 months in Yorkshire and the Humber.

Dr Mary Bousted, the joint general secretary of the National Education Union, accused the government of seeking education recovery on the cheap. “Recovery will require years of work and investment. It is for the government to meet that funding challenge in the comprehensive spending review to make sure no child is left behind.”

Nick Brook, the deputy general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, said the government’s tutoring “revolution” had the potential to help level the playing field between rich and poor pupils. “But unless government shift up a gear, this revolution is set to stall,” he added.

A government spokesperson said: “We are significantly expanding the national tutoring programme this year, building on the progress from last year when more than 300,000 children benefited, and giving schools more flexibility to deliver tutoring that works for them and their families.”

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Health

AIDS Agency Chief Says 1 Out Of 100 Persons Positive In Kaduna

The Executive Secretary of Kaduna State Aids Control Agency (KADSACA), Dr Isa Baka has said a survey had revealed that one out of 100 people is positive to the AIDS disease in the state.

Baka disclosed this speaking shortly after a walk in commemoration of the World AIDS Day, on Thursday in Kaduna.

The theme of the year’s’ World AIDS Day is “Equalise to End AIDS: Equal Access to Treatment and Prevention Services’’.

He said the present statistics was a remarkable development against previous survey which gave 11 of every 100 people in the state.

Baka added that the AIDS prevalence in Kaduna, which is at 1.1, being a survey carried out by the state government itself, was later done at the national level, where that of Kaduna was confirmed as very accurate.

“At the national level, the prevalence of the virus (AIDS) was at 1.4 (four people out of 100 test positive), while that of Kaduna is confirmed to be 1.1, was in determination of the state government and KADSACA’s efforts to ensure minimal prevalence of the virus,” he said.

He said as part of efforts to continue reducing the prevalence of AIDS in the state, government initiated programmes across the 23 LGAs.

He said one of the UNICEF anchored programmes, which is the ‘Adolescent and Youths Living With HIV and AIDS’ programme, was present and effective in at least, 18 LGAs and 24 sites in the state.

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Health

Malawi Commences Large Scale Malaria Vaccination- First In The World

Malawi has commenced large-scale vaccination of children against malaria.

This is the first large-scale malaria vaccination campaign since the World Health Organisation (WHO) endorsed the widespread use of the RTS,S/AS01 (RTS,S) malaria vaccine in October 2021.

The endorsement followed a two-year vaccination programme, which involved more than 800,000 children in Ghana, Kenya and Malawi.

Recommended for children from five months of age to around 18 months, the vaccine  has an efficacy of 39 percent.

The first phase of the vaccination in Malawi is expected to cover 11 of the country’s 28 districts.

In a tweet on Tuesday, the WHO in Malawi said the expansion of access to the malaria vaccine will enable more children at risk of malaria to benefit from an additional prevention tool.

“Malawi has expanded access to the first malaria vaccine! The expansion of the RTS,S Malaria vaccine, into the 11 districts that participated in the malaria vaccine implementation program (MVIP) has been launched today. The vaccine offers a glimmer hope for Malawi,” WHO wrote.

Michael Kayange, Malawi’s national malaria control programme manager, told the BBC’s Focus on Africa that although the vaccine has low efficacy, “in malaria control, there is no single intervention that does it all”.

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Nigeria Yet To Attain 70% Covid-19 Vaccination Coverage- NPHCDA

The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) has disclosed that Nigeria is yet to achieve 70 percent coverage for COVID-19 vaccination.

Faisal Shuaib, executive director of NPHCDA, said on Tuesday that as of November 25, a total of 56,790,371 eligible persons targeted for COVID-19 vaccination are fully vaccinated while 12,492,646 are partially vaccinated in 36 states and the FCT.

“We are 21.6 million eligible persons away from reaching its target of fully vaccinating 70 percent of its eligible population by December 2022,” he said.

“But 62 percent of the country’s eligible population is at least partially vaccinated against COVID-19.

“The country has fully vaccinated half of the total population eligible for COVID-19 vaccination.

“We have also fully vaccinated an additional over 25 percent of its eligible population, in the last 110 days of SCALES 3.0 implementation.”

The executive director said 13.2 percent of fully vaccinated persons in the country have received the COVID-19 booster dose for additional protection against the virus.

He commended the COVID-19 strategy group for achieving 50 percent vaccination coverage in the country and promised that the momentum would be sustained.

Shuaib said he has also directed the team to intensify efforts toward the attainment of herd immunity.

“Until this is achieved, the strategy group will continue to develop strategies that will help the country achieve health security,” he said.

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