There are now nearly 1.4 billion children around the globe — or close to 80 percent of Earth’s student population — whose schools have closed because of the novel coronavirus pandemic, and more than 60 million teachers are home as well, according to a United Nations agency.Schools in nearly 140 countries have closed, the Paris-based U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) says, while education officials seek to scale up measures to help children and parents cope with the hasty shift to learning from home. One agency official said that students need not only academic support but also emotional support.There were, as of Thursday, approximately half a million confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus around the world, with more than 22,000 deaths, including at least 1,000 in the United States. Public life in most countries has virtually stopped in an attempt to stop the spread of covid-19, the disease caused by the virus. UNESCO said some 1.37 billion students are out of school worldwide.At a virtual UNESCO meeting this week, an ad hoc group of education ministers from 11 countries — Costa Rica, Croatia, Egypt, France, Iran, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Nigeria, Peru and Senegal — discussed efforts to keep education

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