UNESCO Chair Global Health and Education Health Education, Prevention, Health Promotion, Children and Young People

COVID-19 and schools

During the COVID-19 pandemic many schools closed impacting over 90% of the worlds student population (around 1.3 billion children and young people). Studies have shown that school closures are harmful to child health and well-being and educational outcomes. Since the COVID-19 pandemic is unique concerning the extent of school closure, there is a crucial need for sharing information about the local and national strategies in different contexts. Depending on the socioeconomic context and the cultures of the countries, the concrete mechanisms of the reopening of schools differs. That’s why the UNESCO Chair and WHO Collaborating Centre in Global Health and Education have launched a knowledge sharing process on school reopening. 

Current research on school reopening

In 2021 schools were still heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic therefore a follow-up survey was conducted with the support of consortium partners. The aim of the survey was to gather the experiences and opinions of education and health professionals about the processes in place in their countries and territories to reopen schools safely during the COVID-19 pandemic, and to keep them open.

Preliminary results of the 2021 survey can be found here: current research on school reopening.

First survey on school reopening 2020

In 2020 many schools closed in haste due to the COVID-19 pandemic and were expected to teach their students online. International organisations, national and local governments issued guidance on reopening at different times. The aim of this survey was to invite health and education professionals to share what was happening in their country about school reopening concerning the features and implications of the issued guidance.

The results of this survey are published in the article “Co-operation and consistency: a global survey of professionals involved in reopening schools during the COVID-19 pandemic“.

Some preliminary results are also available here: first survey on school reopening 2020.

Relevant resources

More articles, guidelines and tools related to COVID-19.