School re-opening is currently at the top of the agenda of Governments and Ministries of Education around the globe. It is also the major concern of students and their parents, teachers and other education personnel. Given the uncertainty over the nature and evolution of COVID-19, decisions are pending, flipping between concerns over health and safety, as thousands of people are effected every day, and concerns over learning loss and other risks entailed in prolonged school closures, especially for the most vulnerable segments of the population, as inequalities in learning and access to health and social services, thorough schools, breeds wider social inequalities.
A new UNESCO resource paper on preparing the reopening of schools combines information from current practices with experience and lessons learnt from past crises in an effort to raise awareness about the most critical aspects around school reopening and offer policy directions to support policy-making and practice around this highly sensitive and complex manner.
Key policy issues covered include the timing, the conditions and processes for school reopening.
As the UN agency mandated to coordinate and lead the global education agenda, UNESCO has been monitoring education responses to COVID-19 globally, collecting and analyzing information, tracking the evolution, scale and impact of and policy responses to school closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and uses this information to facilitating policy dialogue and experience-sharing.