Every morning in front of the Devaraj Urs public housing apartment blocks on the outskirts of the city of Tumakuru, India, a swarm of children pours into the street. They are not going to school.
Instead of backpacks or books, each child carries a filthy plastic sack. These children, from 6 to 14 years old, have been sent by their parents to rummage through garbage dumps littered with broken glass and concrete shards in search of recyclable plastic.
In many parts of the developing world, school closures put children on the streets. Families are desperate for money. Children are an easy source of cheap labor.
While the United States and other developed countries debate the effectiveness of online schooling, hundreds of millions of children in poorer countries lack computers or the internet and have no schooling at all.
United Nations officials estimate that at least 24 million children will drop out and that millions could be sucked into work.
[New York Times]