Issued by the United Nations (UN) Secretary General, and developed with inputs from 15 UN organisations, this brief calls for national authorities and the international community to come together to put education at the forefront of recovery agendas. The brief makes four overarching recommendations: 1) suppress transmission of the virus and plan thoroughly for school reopenings; 2) protect education financing and coordinate for impact; 3) build resilient education systems for equitable and sustainable development; 4) reimagine education and accelerate change in teaching and learning.
Recognising that global school closures presented an unprecedented risk to children’s education, protection, and wellbeing, this framework was developed to inform the decision-making process on when to reopen schools, support national preparations, and guide the implementation process, as part of overall public health and education planning processes. The framework emphasises the importance of contextualization, and asserts that continuous adaptation is necessary in order to respond to local conditions and meet children’s learning, health, and safety needs
UNESCO, UNICEF, the World Bank, World Food Programme, UNHCR. 2020. Supplement to Framework for reopening schools: emerging lessons from country experiences in managing the process of reopening schools.
A complement to the Framework for reopening schools, this document captures lessons and highlights country examples, following the Framework’s four main dimensions (safe operations, focus on learning, wellbeing and protection, and reaching the most marginalized). By sharing lessons and country experiences, the supplement aims to help decision-makers strengthen their reopening plans in an effort to support the successful and safe return to in-person learning.
Global Education Cluster, Child Protection Area of Responsibility. 2020. Safe back to school: A practitioner’s guide
Developed for practitioners, this guide aims to be an accessible, user-friendly tool that outlines the key steps needed for a coordinated, inclusive, all-hazards approach to safe school reopening. Divided into two sections, checklists and technical annexes, the guide builds on the Framework for reopening schools, and proposes concrete actions that can be taken at the community and school level to operationalize global policy recommendations.
These guidelines provide practical suggestions for both UNHCR and partners on how to address the specific needs of refugee children, youth, and families during school reopening processes, highlighting inter-sectoral linkages. The guidelines aim to complement and draw on existing guidance such as the Framework for reopening schools and Safe back to school: A practitioner’s guide, and include links to other key resources.
UNESCO, UNGEI, UNICEF, Plan international, Malala Fund. 2020. Building back equal: girls back to school guide
Aimed at policy-makers and practitioners in ministries of education and their partners, this guide proposes targeted recommendations to ensure learning continuity during periods of school closure. It also includes comprehensive and evidence-based plans for reopening schools in a way that is safe, gender-responsive, and child-friendly, and emphasises the importance of meeting the needs of the most vulnerable girls.
UNESCO and the International Labour Organization. 2020. Supporting teachers in back-to-school efforts - Guidance for policy-makers
Recognising the difficult choices faced by policy-makers when making decisions about when and how to reopen schools, these guidelines present a series of recommendations to develop school reopening procedures, with a particular focus on measures to support teachers and education staff before, during, and after school reopening.
UNESCO and UNESCO-IIEP. 2020. Building back resilient: how can education systems prevent, prepare for and respond to health emergencies and pandemics?
This issue note lays out concrete recommendations to build resilient education systems through actions that address prevention, preparedness, and response to health emergencies and pandemics. Recognising that specific programmatic options can help prevent disease outbreaks and pandemics from affecting education communities and prepare them to respond to such events, the note proposes potential actions to ensure access to education, to improve the quality and equity of education, and to safeguard the management of education systems.
Commonwealth Institute, Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children, Human Rights Watch, Plan International, Raising Voices, Save the Children UK,UNESCO, UNGEI, UNICEF, VVOB and World Education. 2020. COVID-19: Policy Brief and Recommendations Strengthening efforts to prevent and respond to school-related gender-based violence as schools reopen.
Targeted at policy-makers and practitioners working in the fields of gender, education, and child protection, this brief draws on evidence of the gendered implications of COVID-19 on violence, as well as research from previous health emergencies, to shed light on the impacts of school closures on gender-based violence. The brief complements existing guidance such as the Framework for reopening schools, Safe back to school: A practitioner’s guide, and Safe to learn: Recommendations for building back better to end violence against children in and through schools, and can be used to as a tool to advocate for improved attention to school related gender-based violence (SRGBV).
INEE, the Alliance for Child Protection for Humanitarian Action. 2021. No education, no protection: What school closures under COVID-19 mean for children and young people in crisis-affected contexts.
Drawing on research from previous infectious disease outbreaks and emerging evidence from the COVID-19 pandemic, this report highlights the primarily negative effects resulting from the combination of school closures and restricted access to services, social networks, and other protective facilities for children and young people.
UNESCO, UNICEF and the World Bank. 2020. What have we learnt? Overview of findings from a survey of ministries of education on national responses to COVID-19.
This report provides analysis on the results of the first two rounds of data collection administered by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) on government responses to school closures from pre-primary to secondary education levels. The survey aimed to capture policy responses and perceptions from government officials on their effectiveness, providing a better understanding of policies, practices, and intentions. The first and second round of the survey reached ministry of education officials in 118 and 149 countries, respectively.