(PRESS RELEASE) – COVID-19 is keeping children and adolescents around the world out of schools and universities.
In Latin America and the Caribbean, almost all countries have closed educational institutions and/or declared general quarantine to stop the spread of the pandemic.
UNESCO supports countries in need of assistance to address this new scenario and to continue learning continuity. At the same time, UNESCO is working to compile information for a complete overview of the pandemic’s effects on the region’s educational systems and how the student populations are affected by closure of schools, universities and other learning institutions.
The Regional Bureau for Education in Latin America and the Caribbean (OREALC/UNESCO Santiago) has dedicated a section of its website as a regional platform that gathers country-specific information on school closures based on review of governmental sources. This work is also informed by close collaboration with the Regional Cluster on Education in Latin America and the Caribbean coordinated by UNICEF Save the Children. More information is available at https://en.unesco.org/fieldoffice/santiago/covid-19-education-alc
The website includes information on:
Daily monitoring of school closures. Information on government decisions and links to official sites:
Regional responses: In accordance with local contexts and possibilities, each country in the region is developing diverse solutions to meet the educational needs that arise from the suspension of face-to-face classes. An overview of these proposals can be found at https://en.unesco.org/fieldoffice/santiago/covid-19-education-alc/response
Thematic resources: In addition to government proposals at national and subnational levels, international organizations and other entities are making available various support materials that are available at: https://en.unesco.org/fieldoffice/santiago/covid-19-education-alc/resources
The UNESCO International Institute for Higher Education in Latin America and the Caribbean (IESALC) located in Caracas has created a site with information that higher hducation networks have been disseminating through their own channels.
IESALC has also created a list of national public policies on COVID-19 with relevance for the higher education sector, available at http://www.iesalc.unesco.org/2020/04/02/covid-19-y-educacion-superior-politicas-publicas-nacionales/
As of 8 April 2020, school closures at national level were affecting more than 91% of the world’s student population. Many of those countries that have not completely suspended classes have implemented local closures affecting millions more students.
UNESCO has designed a global platform consolidating information from field offices and official information from countries, including:
A global map tracking school closures caused by COVID-19. Available at https://es.unesco.org/covid19/educationresponse
UNESCO’s response at global level to support the education sector in the face of COVID-19, at https://en.unesco.org/covid19/educationresponse/support
Selected resources on national platforms and learning tools, highlighting some from Latin America and the Caribbean that are available on the regional site, at https://en.unesco.org/covid19/educationresponse/nationalresponses
Information on the negative consequences of school closures at https://en.unesco.org/covid19/educationresponse/consequences
Suggestions for distance learning solutions: https://en.unesco.org/covid19/educationresponse/solutions
At the end of March, UNESCO created a webpage with information on the Global Education Coalition on COVID-19, created for the purposes of offering children and young people with inclusive learning options during this unprecedented interruption of education.
The Coalition is a multisectoral initiative to respond to the urgent education needs, as while COVID-19 is a major health problem, it is also an education crisis. More information on this worldwide initiative is available at: https://en.unesco.org/covid19/educationresponse/globalcoalition
UNESCO continues to work to ensure the continuity of life-long and life-wide learning continuity for all in any circumstances.