The longer children are out of school, the less likely they are to ever return, the UK charity says [File: Khalil Hamra/AP]

The coronavirus pandemic is having a “devastating” effect on children, putting many out of school and at an increased risk of exploitation and abuse, a new report has revealed.

The report, released on Friday by the UK-based charity Street Children, said more than 50 percent of children surveyed across 13 different countries in Africa and Asia are unable to take part in any form of learning amid the lockdown measures. 

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Many countries have switched to online learning in an attempt to prevent the spread of the virus, but this has only widened the learning gap between the rich and poor,

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