Reopening schools: When, where and how?


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Stefania Giannini, Assistant Director-General for Education, UNESCO; Robert Jenkins, Chief of Education and Associate Director, UNICEF; Jaime Saavedra, Global Director for Education, World Bank

It has been around two months since schools closed in more than 190 countries, affecting 1.57 billion children and youth - 90% of the world’s student population. Closures happened in quick succession as a measure to contain the Covid-19 virus. Just as speedily, governments deployed measures for learning to continue through platforms, television and radio in what has been the most far-reaching experiment in the history of education. But when it comes to reopening schools, the tempo is far more uncertain. According to UNESCO data, 100 countries have not yet announced a date for schools to reopen, 65 have plans for partial or full reopening, while 32 will end the academic year online. For 890 million students however, the school calendar has never been so undefined.

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