Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on education
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected educational systems worldwide, leading to the near-total closures of schools, universities and colleges.
Most governments around the world have temporarily closed educational institutions in an attempt to contain the spread of COVID-19. As of 24 May 2020, approximately 1.725 billion learners are currently affected due to school closures in response to the pandemic. According to UNICEF monitoring, 153 countries are currently implementing nationwide closures and 24 are implementing local closures, impacting about 98.6 percent of the world's student population. 10 countries' schools are currently open.
On 23 March 2020, Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) released a statement announcing the cancellation of Cambridge IGCSE, Cambridge O Level, Cambridge International AS & A Level, Cambridge AICE Diploma, and Cambridge Pre-U examinations for the May/June 2020 series across all countries. International Baccalaureate exams have also been cancelled. In addition, Advanced Placement Exams, SAT administrations, and ACT administrations have been moved online and cancelled.
School closures impact not only students, teachers, and families. but have far-reaching economic and societal consequences. School closures in response to the pandemic have shed light on various social and economic issues, including student debt, digital learning, food insecurity, and homelessness, as well as access to childcare, health care, housing, internet, and disability services. The impact was more severe for disadvantaged children and their families, causing interrupted learning, compromised nutrition, childcare problems, and consequent economic cost to families who could not work.
In response to school closures, UNESCO recommended the use of distance learning programmes and open educational applications and platforms that schools and teachers can use to reach learners remotely and limit the disruption of education.
Efforts to stem the spread of COVID-19 through non-pharmaceutical interventions and preventive measures such as social-distancing and self-isolation have prompted the widespread closure of primary, secondary, and tertiary schooling in over 100 countries.
Previous outbreaks of infectious diseases have prompted widespread school closings around the world, with varying levels of effectiveness. Mathematical modelling has shown that transmission of an outbreak may be delayed by closing schools. However, effectiveness depends on the contacts children maintain outside of school. School closures may be effective when enacted promptly. If school closures occur late relative to an outbreak, they are less effective and may not have any impact at all. Additionally, in some cases, the reopening of schools after a period of closure has resulted in increased infection rates. As closures tend to occur concurrently with other interventions such as public gathering bans, it can be difficult to measure the specific impact of school closures.
During the 1918-1919 influenza pandemic in the United States, school closures and public gathering bans were associated with lower total mortality rates. Cities that implemented such interventions earlier had greater delays in reaching peak mortality rates. Schools closed for a median duration of 4 weeks according to a study of 43 US cities' response to the Spanish Flu. School closures were shown to reduce morbidity from the Asian flu by 90% during the 1957–58 outbreak, and up to 50% in controlling influenza in the US, 2004–2008.
Multiple countries successfully slowed the spread of infection through school closures during the 2009 H1N1 Flu pandemic. School closures in the city of Oita, Japan, were found to have successfully decreased the number of infected students at the peak of infection; however closing schools was not found to have significantly decreased the total number of infected students. Mandatory school closures and other social distancing measures were associated with a 29% to 37% reduction in influenza transmission rates. Early school closures in the United States delayed the peak of the 2009 H1N1 Flu pandemic. Despite the overall success of closing schools, a study of school closures in Michigan found that "district level reactive school closures were ineffective."
During the swine flu outbreak in 2009 in the UK, in an article titled "Closure of schools during an influenza pandemic" published in the Lancet Infectious Diseases, a group of epidemiologists endorsed the closure of schools in order to interrupt the course of the infection, slow further spread and buy time to research and produce a vaccine. Having studied previous influenza pandemics including the 1918 flu pandemic, the influenza pandemic of 1957 and the 1968 flu pandemic, they reported on the economic and workforce effect school closure would have, particularly with a large percentage of doctors and nurses being women, of whom half had children under the age of 16. They also looked at the dynamics of the spread of influenza in France during French school holidays and noted that cases of flu dropped when schools closed and re-emerged when they re-opened. They noted that when teachers in Israel went on strike during the flu season of 1999–2000, visits to doctors and the number of respiratory infections dropped by more than a fifth and more than two fifths respectively.
For schools and childcare facilities, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends short-term closure to clean or disinfect if an infected person has been in a school building regardless of community spread. When there is minimal to moderate community transmission, social distancing strategies can be implemented such as cancelling field trips, assemblies, and other large gatherings such as physical education or choir classes or meals in a cafeteria, increasing the space between desks, staggering arrival and dismissal times, limiting nonessential visitors, and using a separate health office location for children with flu-like symptoms. When there is substantial transmission in the local community, in addition to social distancing strategies, extended school dismissals may be considered.
- 26 January: China was the first country which instituted measures to contain the COVID-19 outbreak including extending the Spring Festival holiday and became the first to close all universities and schools around the country.
- 4 March: UNESCO released the first global numbers on school closures and affected students on 3 March. It reported that 22 countries on three continents had enacted preventive measures including the temporary closure of schools and universities, impacting 290.5 million students around the world. In reaction, UNESCO called on countries to support affected students and families and facilitate large-scale inclusive distance learning programmes.
- 5 March: The majority of learners affected by COVID-19 emergency measures were located in China, with 233 million learners affected, followed by Japan at 16.5 million and Iran at 14.5 million.
- 10 March: One in five students worldwide was "staying away from school due to the COVID-19 crisis" while another one in four was barred from higher education institutions according to UNESCO.
- 13-16 March: National governments in 49 countries announced or implemented school closures on 13 March, including 39 countries which closed schools nationwide and 22 countries with localised school closures. By 16 March, this figure increased to 73 countries according to UNESCO.
- 19 March: A total of 50% of the students worldwide were affected by school closures, corresponding to nationwide closures in 102 countries and local closures in 11 countries affecting 850 million children and youth.
- 20 March: Over 70% of the world's learners were impacted by closures, with 124 country-wide school closures.
- 27 March: Nearly 90 per cent of the world's student population was out of class.
- 29 March: More than 1.5 billion children and other students were affected by nationwide school closures. Others were disrupted by localized closures.
- Mid-April: A total of 1.725 billion students globally had been affected by the closure of schools and higher education institutions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the UNESCO Monitoring Report, 192 countries had implemented nationwide closures, affecting about 99% of the world's student population.
- 24 May: As of 24 May 2020, approximately 1.725 billion learners are currently affected due to school closures in response to the pandemic. According to UNICEF monitoring, 153 countries are currently implementing nationwide closures and 24 are implementing local closures, impacting about 98.6 percent of the world's student population. 10 countries' schools are currently open.
This section needs to be updated.May 2020)(
|Countries and territories||Number of learners enrolled from pre-primary to upper-secondary education||Number of learners enrolled in tertiary education programmes||Additional information||See also||Ref|
|Afghanistan||9,608,795||370,610||COVID-19 pandemic in Afghanistan|||
|Albania||520,759||131,833||Schools are closed for two weeks.||COVID-19 pandemic in Albania|||
|Algeria||9,492,542||743,640||COVID-19 pandemic in Algeria|||
|Argentina||11,061,186||3,140,963||COVID-19 pandemic in Argentina|||
|Armenia||437,612||102,891||COVID-19 pandemic in Armenia|||
|Austria g||1,278,170||430,370||Schools are closed.||COVID-19 pandemic in Austria|||
|Azerbaijan||1,783,390||200,609||COVID-19 pandemic in Azerbaijan|||
|Bahrain||247,489||44,940||COVID-19 pandemic in Bahrain|||
|Bangladesh||36,786,304||3,150,539||Schools are closed||COVID-19 pandemic in Bangladesh|||
|Belgium||2,457,738||526,720||Schools are closed but nurseries remain open.||COVID-19 pandemic in Belgium|||
|Bhutan||176,488||11,944||COVID-19 pandemic in Bhutan|||
|Bolivia||2,612,837||--a||COVID-19 pandemic in Bolivia|||
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||428,099||95,142||Both schools and universities are closed.||COVID-19 pandemic in Bosnia and Herzegovina|||
|Bulgaria||974,469||249,937||Both schools and universities are closed.||COVID-19 pandemic in Bulgaria|||
|Burkina Faso||4,568,998||117,725||Burkina Faso closed all preschool, primary, post-primary and secondary, professional and university institutions from March 16 to 31.||COVID-19 pandemic in Burkina Faso|||
|Canada||25,017,635||1,625,578||On 16 March, all schools are closed at the provincial and territorial level with the exception of British Columbia and Yukon. However, Yukon schools began their spring break 16 March and on March 18, 2020 the closure was extended until April 15, 2020. On March 17, K-12 schools in British Columbia were suspended indefinitely. All educational institutions were closed by late March.||COVID-19 pandemic in Canada|||
|Cambodia||3,310,778||211,484||COVID-19 pandemic in Cambodia|||
|Cayman Islands||9,182||--a||COVID-19 pandemic in the Cayman Islands|||
|Chile||3,652,100||1,238,992||Chilean President Sebastian Pinera announced that schools across the country would only close if confirmed cases of coronavirus occur among students.||COVID-19 pandemic in Chile|||
|China (including Hong Kong and Macao)b||233,169,621||42,266,464||As the origin of the virus, China was the first country to mandate school closures. Following the Spring Festival holiday, China asked its nearly 200 million students to stay home and continue their educations online. According to UNESCO, as of 13 March China has started reopening schools although the majority remain closed.||COVID-19 pandemic in mainland China|||
|Colombia||9,124,862||2,408,041||COVID-19 pandemic in Colombia|||
|Costa Rica||1,100,782||216,700||COVID-19 pandemic in Costa Rica|||
|Côte d'Ivoire||6,120,918||217,914||Closure of all preschool, elementary, secondary and higher education establishments for a period of 30 days from March 16, 2020 at midnight||COVID-19 pandemic in Ivory Coast|||
|Croatia||621,991||165,197||Both schools and universities are closed.||COVID-19 pandemic in Croatia|||
|Cyprus||135,354||45,263||COVID-19 pandemic in Cyprus|||
|Czech Republic||1,715,890||352,873||Both schools and universities are closed.||COVID-19 pandemic in the Czech Republic|||
|Democratic People's Republic of Korea||4,229,170||526,400||COVID-19 pandemic in North Korea|||
|Denmark||1,185,564||312,379||Both schools and universities are closed.||COVID-19 pandemic in Denmark|||
|Ecuador||4,462,460||320,765||COVID-19 pandemic in Ecuador|||
|Egypt||23,157,420||2,914,473||Grades from 1st primary to 3rd preparatory will do researches from home .
1st and 2nd secondary grades will take their exam from home, while 3rd secondary students will take their exam as usual in schools
|COVID-19 pandemic in Egypt|||
|El Salvador||1,414,326||190,519||Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele ordered all schools to close for three weeks, following similar measures in Peru and Panama.||COVID-19 pandemic in El Salvador|||
|Equatorial Guinea||160,019||--a||COVID-19 pandemic in Equatorial Guinea|||
|Estonia||224,987||47,794||Schools are closed.||COVID-19 pandemic in Estonia|||
|Ethiopia||23,929,322||757,175||Ethiopia has closed all schools and issued a ban on all public gatherings.||COVID-19 pandemic in Ethiopia|||
|Fiji||421,329||32,565||All schools and universities will be physically closed at least until June 2020. On 19 April 2020, one month after the first case was confirmed, the Ministry of Education confirmed that all primary and secondary schools will begin a transition to online learning across all grades, with online classes to start from 4 May 2020. All universities have already transitioned to online learning and began classes from 2 April 2020.||COVID-19 pandemic in Fiji|
|France||12,929,509||2,532,831||Most of schools reopened on may 11. University is still closed||COVID-19 pandemic in France|||
|Gabon||468,362||10,076||COVID-19 pandemic in Gabon|||
|Georgia||732,451||151,226||COVID-19 pandemic in Georgia|||
|Germany||12,291,001||3,091,694||COVID-19 pandemic in Germany|||
|Ghana||9,253,063||443,693||Schools are closed until further notice.||COVID-19 pandemic in Ghana|||
|Greece||1,469,505||735,027||Both schools and universities are closed.||COVID-19 pandemic in Greece|||
|Grenada||26,028||9,260||COVID-19 pandemic in Grenada|||
|Guatemala||4,192,944||366,674||COVID-19 pandemic in Guatemala|||
|Honduras c||2,018,314||266,908||Honduras announced it would close schools for two weeks.||COVID-19 pandemic in Honduras|||
|Hungary||1,504,740||287,018||Both schools and universities are closed.||COVID-19 pandemic in Hungary|||
|Icelandg||80,257||17,967||Schools are closed.||COVID-19 pandemic in Iceland|||
|India||286,376,216||34,337,594||On 16 March, India declared a countrywide lock-down of schools and colleges. On 19 March, the University Grants Commission asked universities to postpone exams till March 31. The board exams conducted by CBSE and ICSE boards were postponed until March 31 at first and then later until July 1.||COVID-19 pandemic in India|||
|Indonesia||60,228,569||8,037,218||Schools and universities are closed. Students study from home with online educational applications, such as Google Classroom. Minister of Education and Culture of Indonesia, Nadiem Makarim launched an educational TV show on TVRI and has prepared for the scenario to study online until the end of the year.||COVID-19 pandemic in Indonesia|||
|Iran (Islamic Republic of)||14,561,998||4,073,827||On 23 February, Iran's Ministry of Health announced the closure of universities, higher educational institutions and schools in several cities and provinces.||COVID-19 pandemic in Iran|||
|Iraq||7,010,788||424,908||COVID-19 pandemic in Iraq|||
|Ireland||1,064,091||255,031||Schools, colleges and childcare facilities are closed nationwide until September 2020.||COVID-19 pandemic in Ireland|||
|Israel||2,271,426||210,041||COVID-19 pandemic in Israel|||
|Italy||9,039,741||1,837,051||Italy closed all schools and universities until at least March 15.||COVID-19 pandemic in Italy|||
|Jamaica||552,619||74,537||COVID-19 pandemic in Jamaica|||
|Japan d||16,496,928||--||On 27 February 2020, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe requested that all Japanese elementary, junior high, and high schools close until early April to help contain the virus. This decision came days after the education board of Hokkaido called for the temporary closure of its 1,600 public and private schools. Nursery schools were excluded from the nationwide closure request. As of 5 March, 98.8 per cent of all municipally run elementary schools have complied with Abe's request, resulting in 18,923 school closures.||COVID-19 pandemic in Japan|||
|Jordan||2,051,840||320,896||On March 14, 2020, the Jordanian government imposed measures fight the outbreak, including a tighter lockdown that closes all borders and bans all incoming and outgoing flights, closing schools and universities for two weeks and banning daily prayers in mosques. The minister of Education announced launching TV channels to broadcast lessons to high school students. Private schools and universities announced their schedules of online listens using different channels.||COVID-19 pandemic in Jordan|||
|Kazakhstan||4,375,239||685,045||COVID-19 pandemic in Kazakhstan|||
|Kenya||13,751,830||562,521||NAIROBI, Kenya Apr 26 – Kenyan schools will remain closed for the next one month, following a directive by the government in measures aimed at preventing the spread of coronavirus.||COVID-19 pandemic in Kenya|||
|Kuwait||632,988||116,336||COVID-19 pandemic in Kuwait|||
|Kyrgyzstan||1,443,925||217,693||COVID-19 pandemic in Kyrgyzstan|||
|Latvia||313,868||82,914||Schools closed until the 14th of April.||COVID-19 pandemic in Latvia|||
|Lebanon||1,132,178||231,215||COVID-19 pandemic in Lebanon|||
|Lesotho||313,868||82,914||Lesotho declared a national emergency on March 18 and closed schools until April 17 (but allowed school meals to continue).||COVID-19 pandemic in Lesotho|||
|Libya||1,510,198||375,028||COVID-19 pandemic in Libya|||
|Lithuania||460,257||125,863||Nurseries are closed. Schools, colleges and universities implement distance learning.||COVID-19 pandemic in Lithuania|||
|Luxembourg||102,839||7,058||Schools are closed.||COVID-19 pandemic in Luxembourg|||
|Malaysia||6,677,157||1,284,876||Schools and universities are closed from March 18 until further notice following the implementation of the Conditional Movement Controlled Order (CMCO).||COVID-19 pandemic in Malaysia|||
|Mauritania||928,218||19,371||COVID-19 pandemic in Mauritania|||
|Mexico||33,159,363||4,430,248||Several universities, including the UNAM and Tec de Monterrey, switched to virtual classes on March 13, 2020. The following day, the Secretariat of Public Education (SEP) announced that all sporting and civic events in schools would be cancelled. Also on 14 March, the Secretariat of Education announced that Easter break, originally planned from 6 to 17 April, would be extended from 20 March to 20 April as a preventive measure. The following day, 14 March, the Secretariat of Public Education (SEP) announced that all sporting and civic events in schools would be cancelled. Also on 14 March, the Secretariat of Education announced that Easter break, originally planned from 6 to 17 April, would be extended from 20 March to 20 April as a preventive measure. On the same day the Autonomous University of Nuevo León, (UANL) (the country's third largest university in terms of student population) suspended classes for its more than 206,000 students starting on March 17 and ending until further notice.||COVID-19 pandemic in Mexico|||
|Mongolia||870,962||155,248||COVID-19 pandemic in Mongolia|||
|Montenegro||111,863||23,826||Montenegro barred public gatherings, closed schools for at least two weeks.||COVID-19 pandemic in Montenegro|||
|Morocco||7,886,899||1,056,257||COVID-19 pandemic in Morocco|||
|Namibia||689,520||56,046||All schools were closed on 14 March 2020. Although this does not automatically apply to universities, they also suspended face-to-face teaching. Reopening of schools is only planned for "stage 3" of the plan to return to normalcy which is to come into effect on 2 June.||COVID-19 pandemic in Namibia|||
|Netherlands||3,336,544||875,455||On March 12, all Dutch universities suspended physical teaching until 1 April, but online teaching will continue.||COVID-19 pandemic in the Netherlands|||
|New Zealandg||All schools and universities were closed down across the country on 26 March. The government imposed a two-week holiday, allowing schools to transition to forms of distant teaching as soon as possible. Universities closed for one week, but resumed with online teaching afterwards. Other school services remained open, but teaching was restricted to distant learning.||COVID-19 pandemic in New Zealand|||
|North Macedonia||298,135||61,488||Both schools and nurseries are closed.||COVID-19 pandemic in North Macedonia|||
|Norway g||1,073,521||284,042||Schools are closed.||COVID-19 pandemic in Norway|||
|Oman||780,431||119,722||All educational institutions, public and private have been closed since 14 March. These include nurseries, schools, colleges and universities.||COVID-19 pandemic in Oman|||
|Pakistan||44,925,306||1,878,101||All educational institutions are to remain closed until 15 July.||COVID-19 pandemic in Pakistan|||
|Palestine||1,404,021||222,336||COVID-19 pandemic in Palestine|||
|Panama||837,246||161,102||Panama's education minister Maruja Gorday announced the suspension of classes at public and private school throughout most of the country starting on 11 March and extending at least through 7 April.||COVID-19 pandemic in Panama|||
|Paraguay||1,519,678||225,211||COVID-19 pandemic in Paraguay|||
|Peru||8,015,606||1,895,907||COVID-19 pandemic in Peru|||
|Philippines||24,861,728||3,589,484||Both schools and universities are closed.||COVID-19 pandemic in the Philippines|||
|Poland||6,003,285||1,550,203||Both schools and universities are closed.||COVID-19 pandemic in Poland|||
|Portugal||2,028,254||346,963||Both schools and universities are closed.||COVID-19 pandemic in Portugal|||
|Qatar||309,856||33,668||COVID-19 pandemic in Qatar|||
|Republic of Korea e||7,044,963||3,136,395||COVID-19 pandemic in South Korea|||
|Republic of Moldova||498,881||87,277||Both schools and universities are closed.||COVID-19 pandemic in Moldova|||
|Romania f||2,951,879||--||Schools are closed.||COVID-19 pandemic in Romania|||
|Russia||--||--||On 14 March, the Russian Ministry of Education advised schools across the country to adopt remote learning "as appropriate." The Moscow region introduced flexible attendance policies at area public schools and kindergartens, however all regular classes at schools would continue normally and children who elected to stay home at their parents discretion would learn online. The following day private schools in Moscow were urged to suspend operations for two weeks while several schools located within foreign embassies in Moscow were advised to enter a two-week quarantine. Moscow's chief sanitary doctor signed a decree banning visitors to boarding schools and orphanages. On 16 March, Moscow extended measures to closing public schools, universities, athletic schools and supplemental education institutions from 21 March to 12 April. Quarantine in all Russian schools since March 23.||COVID-19 pandemic in Russia|
|Rwanda||3,388,696||75,713||COVID-19 pandemic in Rwanda|||
|Saint Lucia||30,925||2,237||COVID-19 pandemic in Saint Lucia|||
|Saudi Arabia||6,789,773||1,620,491||COVID-19 pandemic in Saudi Arabia|||
|Senegal||3,475,647||184,879||Schools closed from the 14th of March for 3-4 weeks.||COVID-19 pandemic in Senegal|||
|Serbia||964,796||256,172||Schools are closed.||COVID-19 pandemic in Serbia|||
|Singapore||-||-||Schools are conducting full home-based learning. Schools remain open only for parents who cannot find alternative accommodation for their children.||COVID-19 pandemic in Singapore|||
|Slovakia||832,055||156,048||Schools are closed.||COVID-19 pandemic in Slovakia|||
|Slovenia||332,677||79,547||COVID-19 pandemic in Slovenia|||
|South Africa||13,496,529||1,116,017||President Cyril Ramaphosa declared a national disaster in response to the COVID-19 outbreak and closed all schools until the end of South Africa's Easter holiday. On 16 March, the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation is announced official measures impacting university and colleges across the country in response to a student at Wits University in Johannesburg who tested positive for coronavirus.||COVID-19 pandemic in South Africa|||
|Spain||7,696,101||2,010,183||Schools are closed.||COVID-19 pandemic in Spain|||
|Sri Lanka||4,917,578||300,794||The government ordered to close schools from 12 March to 20 April which also marks the end of the first term. The private tuition classes and tutorials are also closed for two weeks until 26 March.||COVID-19 pandemic in Sri Lanka|||
|Sudan||8,171,079||653,088||COVID-19 pandemic in Sudan|||
|Switzerland||1,289,219||300,618||Schools are closed.||COVID-19 pandemic in Switzerland|||
|Syrian Arab Republic||3,491,113||697,415||Schools and universities have closed and in some form e-learning has developed.||COVID-19 pandemic in Syria|||
|Thailand||12,990,728||2,410,713||COVID-19 pandemic in Thailand|||
|Trinidad and Tobago||260,439||16,751||COVID-19 pandemic in Trinidad and Tobago|||
|Tunisia||2,479,163||272,261||COVID-19 pandemic in Tunisia|||
|Turkey||17,702,938||7,198,987||Online-only learning since 23 March
Educations involving tuition and/or field work are postponed.
|COVID-19 pandemic in Turkey|||
|Turkmenistang||Holidays were extended in all secondary schools until 6 April of Turkmenistan. An order signed by the Ministry of Education as a preventative measure aims to prevent the spread of respiratory diseases in connection with the WHO coronavirus pandemic.
Educations involving tuition and/or field work are postponed.
|COVID-19 pandemic in Turkmenistan|||
|Ukraine||5,170,368||1,614,636||Schools are closed.||COVID-19 pandemic in Ukraine|||
|United Arab Emirates||1,170,565||191,794||All private and public schools and colleges have been instructed to close for four weeks from Sunday March 8. Then on March the 30th, they announced that the e-learning programme will continue until the end of the year. ||COVID-19 pandemic in the United Arab Emirates|||
|United Kingdom||It was announced on the 18th March that all UK schools would close by the 20th (the end of that working week) for all but the most vulnerable children and pupils whose parents were working in fields considered particularly important to the anti coronavirus effort.||COVID-19 pandemic in the United Kingdom|||
|Uzbekistan||7,174,483||299,634||COVID-19 pandemic in Uzbekistan|||
|Venezuela||6,866,822||--a||President Nicholas Maduro issued a "collective quarantine" in seven states in Venezuela and suspended school and university classes.||COVID-19 pandemic in Venezuela|||
|Yemen||5,852,325||267,498||COVID-19 pandemic in Yemen|||
|Zambia||3,955,937||56,680||Schools have been closed until further notice.||COVID-19 pandemic in Zambia|||
As of 24 May 2020, 24 countries have localised school closures. UNESCO estimates 473,933,356 learners are potentially at risk (pre-primary to upper-secondary education) and 77,938,904 learners are potentially at risk in tertiary education.
|Country||Region/s a||See also||Ref|
|Australia||Australia has not closed schools or universities in line with advice from the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee.
Some private and independent schools have chosen to close.
On 22–23 March, the state governments of Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory contradicted federal government advice by enacting school closures, while the New South Wales state government encouraged students to stay home from school if possible. Many universities closed temporarily and transitioned to online learning.
|COVID-19 pandemic in Australia|
|Brazil||As of 16 March, Brazil has more confirmed cases of coronavirus than any other Latin American country, however President Jair Bolsonaro has issued few country-wide measures to slow the spread of the virus. Because the president and federal government failed to act regarding the pandemic and had, as of 18 March, not decided to cancel classes in the whole country, lower instances of government acted autonomously. State schools, municipal schools, private institutions and universities acted differently regarding suspending classes at once, gradually or not at all, and between replacing classes with distance education or simply postponing them. Because of that, there are only "localised" (as opposed to "national") school closures, as of 20 March, according to UNESCO.
States such as São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Pernambuco have cancelled classes in state schools, but some municipal schools continue having classes normally even in those states. Minas Gerais state initially cancelled classes for public schools between for only three days and on 18 March, the state governor announced that classes in the region of the state capital Belo Horizonte were cancelled indefinitely, because there was confirmed community transmission in the region, but the rest of the state would continue having classes normally until further notice.
In São Paulo, classes are being cancelled gradually, so that parents had time to come up with solutions that didn't involve letting the kids be with their grandparents. Between 16 and 20 March, students could go to class, but absentees would not be penalised. Classes were indefinitely cancelled starting on March 23.
Regarding the food safety of students, some municipal and state schools announced "food kits" for weekly pickup such as in Recife or that some selected schools would remain open for students to have lunch, such as in Espírito Santo.
In Higher Education, Unicamp was the first university of the country to cancel all classes, stating on 13 March. Initially, classes were cancelled until 31 March, but later the university extended the suspension until 12 April. On 11 March, one student of USP was confirmed with the disease, leading one department to cancel classes for a single day, and it wasn't until 17 March that the whole university cancelled classes. Many universities across the country cancelled classes, such as UFV (since 16 March) and UNILA (since 17 March), but others remain open.
In the city of São Paulo, which is home to half of Brazil's 120,000 Jews, Jewish schools have closed and some are providing class remotely over video. In Rio de Janeiro, Jewish day schools also closed in the absence of a state-wide decision regarding the closure of Rio's public and private schools.
|COVID-19 pandemic in Brazil|||
|Finland b||Pre-primary education and grades 1–3 will continue for the children of parents working in sectors critical to the functioning of society, as well as for children with special needs from pre-primary to upper secondary education. Early Childhood Education and Care will be provided for all children, whose parents are unable to arrange their care at home. In other levels of education, contact teaching can continue, if considered necessary for the completion of studies.||COVID-19 pandemic in Finland|||
|Sweden b||Schools have remained open. On 17 March, the government of Sweden declared that high schools, vocational schools and Universities shall remain closed and recommended continuing lectures by distance education.||COVID-19 pandemic in Sweden|||
|United States||As of April 10, 2020[update], most American public and private elementary and secondary schools—at least 124,000—had stopped in-person instruction nationwide, affecting at least 55.1 million students. By May 2, school buildings had been ordered or recommended to be closed for the remainder of the academic year in 47 states, four territories, and the District of Columbia. Most schools shifted to online learning; however, there are concerns about student access to necessary technology, absenteeism, and accommodations for special needs students. School systems also looked to adjust grading scales and graduation requirements to mitigate the disruption caused by the unprecedented closures.
A large number of higher educational institutions cancelled classes and closed dormitories in response to the outbreak, including all members of the Ivy League, and many other public and private universities across the country. Many universities also expanded the use of pass/fail grading for the Spring 2020 semester. On March 27, President Donald Trump signed the CARES Act, which includes economic relief for student loan borrowers. The Act placed all federally held student loans into forbearance and no interest will be added through September 30, 2020.
|COVID-19 pandemic in the United States#Educational impact|
|Uruguay||As of 14 March, Uruguay will only close schools in case of registered cases of coronavirus among students.
The University of the Republic cancelled classes on March 13, 2020, and the government announced a two-week suspension of classes at public and private schools on Saturday, March 14. Schools were to remain open to provide meals to students, but without classes.
|COVID-19 pandemic in Uruguay|||
|Vietnam b||All pre-primary, primary and lower secondary schools in Vietnam; and all upper-secondary institutions in multiple cities and provinces were closed.||COVID-19 pandemic in Vietnam|||
- a^ Figures correspond to total number of learners enrolled at pre-primary, primary, lower-secondary, and upper-secondary levels of education [ISCED levels 0 to 3], as well as at tertiary education levels [ISCED levels 5 to 8] who could be affected should localised closures become countrywide. Enrolment figures based on latest UNESCO Institute of Statistics data.
- b^ All educational institutions are open.
Consequences of school closuresEdit
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (March 2020)
School closures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic have shed a light on numerous issues affecting access to education, as well as broader socio-economic issues. As of March 12, more than 370 million children and youth are not attending school because of temporary or indefinite country wide school closures mandated by governments in an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19. As of 29 March, nearly 90% of the world's learners were impacted by closures.
Even when school closures are temporary, it carries high social and economic costs. The disruptions they cause affect people across communities, but their impact is more severe for disadvantaged children and their families including interrupted learning, compromised nutrition, childcare problems and consequent economic cost to families who cannot work. According to OECD studies, school performance hinges critically on maintaining close relationships with teachers. This is particularly true for students from disadvantaged backgrounds, who may not have the parental support needed to learn on their own. Working parents are more likely to miss work when schools close in order to take care of their children, incurring wage loss in many instances and negatively impacting productivity. Localised school closures place burdens on schools as parents and officials redirect children to schools that are open.
Unintended strain on health-care systemEdit
Women make up almost 70% of the health care workforce, exposing them to a greater risk of infection. They often cannot attend work because of childcare obligations that result from school closures. This means that many medical professionals are not at the facilities where they are most needed during a health crisis.
Online learning has become a critical lifeline for education, as institutions seek to minimize the potential for community transmission. Technology can enable teachers and students to access specialized materials well beyond textbooks, in multiple formats and in ways that can bridge time and space.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many schools began conducting classes via videotelephony software such as Zoom. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has created framework to guide an education response to the COVID-19 Pandemic for distance learning.
Unequal access to technologyEdit
Lack of access to technology or fast, reliable internet access can prevent students in rural areas and from disadvantaged families. Lack of access to technology or good internet connectivity is an obstacle to continued learning, especially for students from disadvantaged families. In response to school closures caused by COVID-19, UNESCO recommends the use of distance learning programmes and open educational applications and platforms that schools and teachers can use to reach learners remotely and limit the disruption of education.
To aid in slowing the transmission of COVID-19, hundreds of libraries have temporarily closed. In the United States, numerous major cities announced public library closures, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, and New York City, affecting 221 libraries. For students without internet at home, this increases the difficulty of keeping up with distance learning.
Unequal access to educational resourcesEdit
Lack of limitations and exceptions to copyright can also have an impact on the ability of students to access the textbooks and materials they need to study. Several initiatives were taken to grant that students and teachers can have access to open educational resources, or understand copyright limitations. The International Council for Open and Distance Education issued a special website to provide webinars, tips for online teaching and resources for teachers.
In New Zealand, a group of publishers agreed to allow for virtual public readings of their materials from libraries and classrooms. A similar agreement took place in Australia, where the Australian Publishers Association, the Australian Library and Information Association and the Australian Society of Authors agreed on a set of exceptional measures to allow libraries to provide educational content. The Australian organization AMCOS agreed to give a gratis license for all their music sheets to all schools across Australia.
A coalition of over 500 civil society organizations and individuals issued a letter to Francis Gurry, Director of the World Intellectual Property Organization, asking, among other things, a special set of limitations and exceptions to copyright for the duration of the pandemic.
Several organizations are also working to explain to teachers how to navigate complex copyright scenarios. The National Copyright Unit of Australia, a specialist copyright team responsible for copyright policy and administration for Australian schools and TAFE, issued a set of recommendations to follow on copyright issues while doing remote learning and a set of recommendations for using openly licensed content, specially aimed to parents supporting students. Centrum Cyfrowe in Poland is holding open calls to support the work of teachers and educators leading in the open education sector. The Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property at the American University is holding a set of webinars for different educators to guide them through copyright issues when delivering online teaching and how to address best practices for fair use.
School closures puts a strain on parents and guardians to provide childcare and manage distance learning while children are out of school. In the absence of alternative options, working parents often leave children alone when schools close and this can lead to risky behaviours, including increased influence of peer pressure and substance abuse.
Nutrition and food insecurityEdit
Nutrition plays a critical role in cognitive development and academic performance for children. Many children worldwide rely on free or discounted meals at schools. When schools close, nutrition is especially compromised for children in schools where food is provided.
In the United States, school lunch programmes are the second-biggest anti-hunger initiative after food stamps. Every year, nearly 30 million children rely on schools to provide free or low-cost meals including breakfast, lunch, snacks, and even dinner. In Washington State, around 45% of the states 1.1 million students enrolled in traditional public and charter schools qualify for subsidised school meals. At least 520,000 students and their families may be affected by food insecurity as a result of school closures. In Alabama, where state-wide school closures as of 18 March have affected over 720,000 students, the state Superintendent announced that staff in schools disproportionately affected by poverty would create meal distribution networks to provide food for students who rely on school lunches.
Student learning outcomesEdit
School closures negatively impact student learning outcomes. Schooling provides essential learning and when schools close, children and youth are deprived opportunities for growth and development. The disadvantages are disproportionate for under-privileged learners who tend to have fewer educational opportunities beyond school. When schools close, parents are often asked to facilitate the learning of children at home and can struggle to perform this task. This is especially true for parents with limited education and resources.
Students gain slower during school closures than in a business-as-usual academic year. Kindergarten children in the U.S will loss 67% of their literacy ability during the COVID-19 school closures.
Student drop-out rates tend to increase as an effect of school closures due to the challenge of ensuring all students return to school once school closures ends. This is especially true of protracted closures. Disadvantaged, at-risk, or homeless children are more likely not to return to school after the closures are ended, and the effect will often be a life-long disadvantage from lost opportunities.
Schools are also hubs of social activity and human interaction. When schools are closed, many children and youth miss out of on social contact that is essential to learning and development.
Inaccessibility to mitigation strategiesEdit
The effect of school closure on academic achievement has been studied in the summer months. Many of the strategies used to prevent academic slump, such as attending summer school, visiting libraries, and/or participating in literacy-rich summer-based activities are not available during the pandemic. Reading every day to a child, an option available while staying at home, reduced the rate of loss by 10.5%.
Special education servicesEdit
Impact on formal educationEdit
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (March 2020)
Formal education — as opposed to informal education or non-formal education — tends to refer to schools, colleges, universities and training institutions. A 1974 report by the World Bank defined formal education as the following:
Formal education: the hierarchically structured, chronologically graded ‘education system’, running from primary school through the university and including, in addition to general academic studies, a variety of specialised programmes and institutions for full-time technical and professional training.
The majority of data collected on the number of students and learners impacted by COVID-19 has been calculated based on the closure of formal education systems. The UNESCO Institute for Statistics provides figures on students impacted by COVID-19 corresponding to the number of learners enrolled at pre-primary, primary, lower-secondary, and upper-secondary levels of education [ISCED levels 0 to 3], as well as at tertiary education levels [ISCED levels 5 to 8].
Early childhood educationEdit
Early childhood educational programmes are usually designed for children below the age of 3 and may refer to preschools, nursery schools, kindergartens, and some day care programmes. While many primary and secondary schools have closed around the world due to COVID-19, measures impacting early childhood educational programmes have varied. In some countries and territories,[which?] preschools and day cares are considered necessary services and have not closed in tandem with broader school closure measures.
In the United States, the Washington State Department of Children, Youth, and Families encouraged child care and early learning centres to stay open. Some school districts may offer alternative child care options, prioritising the children of first responders and healthcare workers. The governor of Maryland mandated that specific child care services remain open for the children of emergency personnel while Washington State and California have left it to the discretion of care providers. California Governor Gavin Newsom explained his state's position, saying “We need our child care facilities, our daycare centers, to operate to absorb the impact of these school closures.” Colorado has encouraged the development of "tool kits" for parents to use at home to emulate the lessons children would have received in their early learning programmes.
In Japan, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe closed all schools throughout the country until April 8, however, children's daycare facilities were excluded. In early March, five adults associated with a nursing facility for preschool children in Kobe tested positive for coronavirus. After testing over one hundred children at the facility, a preschool student was found to be carrying the virus.
Primary or elementary education typically consists of the first four to seven years of formal education. Kindergarten is the first time children participate in formal education. The interruption of formal education during this grade will result a 67% loss of literacy ability in kindergarten children.
The International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) cancelled the examinations for its Diploma Programme and Career-related Programme candidates scheduled between 30 April and 22 May 2020, reportedly affecting more than 200,000 students worldwide. The IBO stated that it would award candidates their diplomas or certificates based on "their coursework" and "the established assessment expertise, rigor, and quality control already built into the programme."
Tertiary education, also known as higher education, refers to the non-compulsory educational levels that follow completion of secondary school or high school. Tertiary education is normally taken to include undergraduate and postgraduate education, as well as vocational education and training. Individuals who complete tertiary education generally receive certificates, diplomas, or academic degrees.
Undergraduate education is education conducted after secondary education and prior to post-graduate education, for which the learner is typically awarded a bachelor's degree. Students enrolled in higher education programmes at colleges, universities, and community colleges are often referred to as "college students" in countries such as United States.
The closure of colleges and universities has widespread implications for students, faculty, administrators, and the institutions themselves.
While $6 billion in emergency relief is to be made available to students during the pandemic, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos decided on April 21, 2020 that it will only be made available to those students who are also already eligible for federal financial aid. This rule will exclude tens of thousands of undocumented students who participate in the government's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA, or "Dreamers") program from being able to receive emergency relief funds.
Impact on local economiesEdit
In the United States of America, colleges and universities operate as "mini-cities" which generate significant revenue for cities, states, and regions. For example, Princeton University estimated in 2017 that it contributed $1.58 billion USD per year to the New Jersey economy, and that students spent about $60 million in off-campus spending. College and university closures have a domino effect on economies with far-reaching implications.
In March, Linda Bilmes of the Harvard Kennedy School noted that "local hotels, restaurants, cafes, shops, car rental agencies and other local businesses obtain a significant share of annual revenue from graduation week and college reunions... these communities will suffer a lot of economic damage if the colleges remain closed at that time."
Small towns which rely on college students to support the local economy and provide labour to local businesses are especially impacted by school closures and the exodus of students from campus. In Ithaca, New York, Cornell University students spent at least $4 million a week in Tompkins County. In the wake of Cornell's decision to keep students home following spring break and transition to virtual instruction, the Mayor of Ithaca called for "immediate and forceful federal action — we will see a horrific economic impact as a result of Cornell University closing."
Responses to the crisisEdit
UNESCO made ten recommendations for engaging in online learning.
- Examine the readiness and choose the most relevant tools: Decide on the use high-technology and low-technology solutions based on the reliability of local power supplies, internet connectivity, and digital skills of teachers and students. This could range through integrated digital learning platforms, video lessons, MOOCs, to broadcasting through radios and TVs.
- Ensure inclusion of the distance learning programmes: Implement measures to ensure that students including those with disabilities or from low-income backgrounds have access to distance learning programmes, if only a limited number of them have access to digital devices. Consider temporarily decentralising such devices from computer labs to families and support them with internet connectivity.
- Protect data privacy and data security: Assess data security when uploading data or educational resources to web spaces, as well as when sharing them with other organisations or individuals. Ensure that the use of applications and platforms does not violate students’ data privacy.
- Prioritize solutions to address psychosocial challenges before teaching: Mobilize available tools to connect schools, parents, teachers, and students with each other. Create communities to ensure regular human interactions, enable social caring measures, and address possible psychosocial challenges that students may face when they are isolated.
- Plan the study schedule of the distance learning programmes: Organise discussions with stakeholders to examine the possible duration of school closures and decide whether the distance learning programme should focus on teaching new knowledge or enhance students’ knowledge of prior lessons. Plan the schedule depending on the situation of the affected zones, level of studies, needs of students needs, and availability of parents. Choose the appropriate learning methodologies based on the status of school closures and home-based quarantines. Avoid learning methodologies that require face-to-face communication.
- Provide support to teachers and parents on the use of digital tools: Organise brief training or orientation sessions for teachers and parents as well, if monitoring and facilitation are needed. Help teachers to prepare the basic settings such as solutions to the use of internet data if they are required to provide live streaming of lessons.
- Blend appropriate approaches and limit the number of applications and platforms: Blend tools or media that are available for most students, both for synchronous communication and lessons, and for asynchronous learning. Avoid overloading students and parents by asking them to download and test too many applications or platforms.
- Develop distance learning rules and monitor students’ learning process: Define the rules with parents and students on distance learning. Design formative questions, tests, or exercises to monitor closely students’ learning process. Try to use tools to support submission of students’ feedback and avoid overloading parents by requesting them to scan and send students’ feedback
- Define the duration of distance learning units based on students’ self-regulation skills: Keep a coherent timing according to the level of the students’ self-regulation and metacognitive abilities especially for livestreaming classes. Preferably, the unit for primary school students should not be more than 20 minutes, and no longer than 40 minutes for secondary school students.
- Create communities and enhance connection: Create communities of teachers, parents, and school managers to address sense of loneliness or helplessness, facilitate sharing of experience and discussion on coping strategies when facing learning difficulties.
Open Education Community responseEdit
Open Education community members have shared open educational resources (OER) in response to COVID-19, including:
- Commonwealth of Learning created the resource "Keeping the doors of learning open". The project brings together a curated list of resources for policymakers, school and college administrators, teachers, parents and learners that will assist with student learning during the closure of educational institutions. Most of these are available as OER.
- Community Contributed Open Educational Resources for Teaching and Learning in the COVID-19 Era is a co-created spreadsheet of resources. There are multiple tabs on the spreadsheet providing links to: K-12 (primary / secondary) resources, OER repositories, OER toolkits, student support, online teaching, and more.
- OERu online courses is a resource to build capacity in the design and development of OER-enabled online learning. The OERu offers two facilitated online courses including free access to a competency certification in copyright and Creative Commons licensing. These courses will provide skills for participants wanting to design and publish their own online courses using the OERu's open source, component-based digital learning environment.
- Teaching and Learning Online is a website by SkillsCommons and MERLOT that offers a free online resource page in response to COVID-19. This page helps teachers and students prepare to start teaching and learning online.
- The University of Arizona University Libraries created a "Library Support for Shifting to Online Teaching" page and a Free-to-Use Course Materials webinar.
- WirLernenOnline is a German online platform to find learning material for digital lessons in primary school, secondary school, upper secondary and vocational education.
Open Education community members have also offered support in response to COVID-19, including:
- Creative Commons Response to COVID-19 Creative Commons promotes and facilitates open access initiatives and provides training, community advocacy resources for open access and open education.
- The Global Education Coalition The coalition was launched by UNESCO and seeks to facilitate inclusive learning opportunities for children and youth during this period of sudden and unprecedented educational disruption.
- Higher Education Guidance During COVID-19: Teaching, Learning & Student Support This open document was created as a hub for the many resources, ideas, information, and suggestions for Higher Education colleagues as they plan to move teaching, learning, and student support services online, as institutions shut down due to COVID-19.
- The Maricopa Millions OER Project launched a special emergency fund for building open educational resources.
- OER Support Group for Educators During COVID-19 Responding to the international COVID-19 pandemic, the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) and the OER Foundation (OERF) in New Zealand, which coordinates the OERu, have joined forces to establish an Open Educational Resources for Covid (OER4Covid) community. The goal is to assist educational institutions around the world to transition to online learning.
- Public Statement of Library Copyright Specialists: Fair Use & Emergency Remote Teaching & Research
- Translate a Story is a collaboration among the Norwegian Government, UNESCO, UNHCR, ADEA, The Global Book Alliance, Verizon, The Global Digital Library, Pratham Books’ StoryWeaver, The Asia Foundation's Let's Read initiative, African Storybook, Learning Equality and Creative Commons, which sets up sprints to help learning supporters of all types translate children's reading books into new languages. Translate a Story notes, "Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 1.5 billion children and youth are out of school. Many lack access to reading materials in a language they understand."
- UNESCO Global Education Coalition and UNESCO Call to Support Learning and Knowledge Sharing through Open Educational Resources
- Wikimedia Education Response to COVID-19 Pandemic
- The Open Education Policy Network, a project by the organization Centrum Cyfrowe from Poland, has been offering their view on Open Education from the Polish perspective.
- Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the arts and cultural heritage
- Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on cinema
- Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on science and technology
- Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on sports
- Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on religion
- List of events affected by the COVID-19 pandemic
This article incorporates text from a free content work. 290 million students out of school due to COVID-19: UNESCO releases first global numbers and mobilizes response, UNESCO.
This article incorporates text from a free content work. How to plan distance learning solutions during temporary schools closures, UNESCO.
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