United Nations, Sep 29: The UN Children's Fund (Unicef) has introduced an initiative to reduce violence in schools across Latin America and to ensure quality education, the media reported on Tuesday.
"Millions of girls, boys and adolescents wonder every day if they will even be able to reach their schools, if they will be safe during their school day", said a report, launched on Monday along with the initiative and titled "Strong Schools and Communities Initiative: Working Together to Build Safe Schools and Protective Learning Environments".
According to the report, the presence of delinquents, gangs and weapons in schools encourage absenteeism and in many cases causes millions of children in Latin America to drop out of school.
Moreover, extortion of teachers and students, along with theft and damage of school property prevent access to education and leads to fear and adverse psychological consequences, lowering the quality of teaching as well as learning.
The report was launched at a ceremony, attended by education ministers of El Salvador and Costa Rica, Carlos Mauricio Canjura and Sonia Marta Mora respectively; first lady of Panama, Lorena Castillo de Varela, and Guatemalan businessman Salvador Paiz.
The report also urges people to take part in creating safe learning environments and highlights the importance of collaborating with children, adolescents and their families.