Strategy and perspectives for the reopening of schools in the Caribbean subregion - Caribbean webinar #2
The Regional Bureau for Education in Latin America and the Caribbean (OREALC/UNESCO Santiago), in collaboration with the Latin American and Caribbean Regional Education Group for Risk Management, Disasters and Migration has launched the web seminar series "Leave no one behind in the time of COVID-19". In this framework, these organizations brought together education partners from key public and private institutions, to discuss the most acute issue for education today: the safe return to schools.
It is important to prepare countries for challenges resulting from the direct and indirect consequences of COVID-19 and prolonged social isolation, on both the education system and on the school community. These include increased risk of dropout, the exacerbation of existing and new inequalities, or the loss of education personnel.
How informed and prepared education planners are will determine how well these challenges are managed. The second webinar of the SDG-Education 2030 series for the Caribbean will thus bring together education partners from key public and private institutions, and address the most acute issue for education today: the reopening of schools.
As a preventive measure to curb the further spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, most countries have closed their schools, universities and other education institutions since February and March, resulting some 1.58 billion learners temporarily out of school. However, as of 11 May 2020, the number of affected learners worldwide has dropped to 1,235,602,579, indicating the return of more than 300 million students back to school in comparison to the early April. Strategy for reopening schools is thus an imperative for many governments across the globe.
In the Caribbean region, while schools in most countries remain closed and much efforts are being made to ensure the continuity of learning through alternative modalities, it is necessary for countries to start anticipating and preparing for school reopening.
A comprehensive process as it is, planning for school reopening needs to prioritize the safety, protection and well-being of learners, teachers and education personnel, in consultation with health experts and other concerned actors. It is also significant to assess the readiness of the education system, to ensure the continuity of learning, and to build system resilience to anticipate and deal with future crises.
Online - Jamaica