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The UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) joins together cities from across the world around the common objective of harnessing the potential of culture and creativity for a sustainable future. The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting people everywhere, and the culture sector has in many ways come to a standstill – cultural events, cinema, theatre and music performances have been cancelled, international tourism has largely ceased, restaurants and markets have closed, amongst others. This has not only impacted the sectors concerned, but also the public, which tends to turn to cultural products and services for education, entertainment, leisure, personal development, or social engagement. While this undoubtably has a serious impact on the economic viability of the cultural sector, the sector's fundamental creativity and ability to inspire social connection remains intact. The information submitted by over 90 Creative Cities from 44 UNESCO Member States shows how cities have come together to nurture new ideas and projects by connecting people to culture and creativity during the pandemic.
This Annex is intended to help policy makers and educators with making decisions on running schools as safely as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic. At the forefront of all considerations and decisions should be the continuity of education for children for their overall well-being, health and safety. Nonetheless, all decisions will have implications for children, parents or caregivers, teachers and other staff and more broadly, their communities and societies. This document was developed with input from the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) of Experts on Educational Institutions and COVID-19 and experts from WHO, UNICEF, and UNESCO, who jointly reviewed the latest evidence to develop this interim guidance, which considers equity, resource implications, and feasibility.
The education systems in many countries have faced ample of challenges that emerged due to the COVID-19 pandemic as of the beginning of March 2020, which led to lockdown and closure of schools and universities. As a result, 86 million learner in Arab countries schooling were interrupted. As such, Arab countries found themselves forced to choose between two options, either to use distance learning or don’t provide education at all. Majority of countries have headed towards distance learning, to ensure the continuity and management of the teaching and learning. After three months of distance learning, it was necessary to evaluate this experience in its various aspects and to identify the most critical challenges faced, in addition to providing solutions that would advance the process of distance learning and its outcomes. In this regard, the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Education in the Arab States in Beirut was keen on benefiting from the opinions of all targeted educational stakeholders who have not participated before in similar questionnaires.
In the context of the Global Education Coalition, formed by UNESCO to support governments in their educational response to COVID-19, UNESCO has collaborated with partners to develop a COVID-19 Response Toolkit in Education. The goal of these chapters is to support countries in their educational response to COVID-19 by providing practices and examples, concrete steps for intervention, and tactical action checklists. This particular chapter focuses on the topic of re-enrolment.
UNESCO has been monitoring education responses to COVID-19 globally, collecting and analyzing information and facilitating policy dialogue and experience-sharing. Key policy issues include the timing, the conditionsand processesfor school reopening. The effectiveness of these policy decisions and reopening strategies will depend on the level of preparedness of the education system in terms of infrastructure (health and sanitary measures); teaching staff (ability to provide both psychosocial and academic support); pedagogical preparedness (offering remedial action and alternative modalities to meet learning objectives); learners, families andcommunities (ability and willingness to return to school and readiness to continue learning).
This paper assesses that it is time to de-school education, free the school from curricular constraints and empower it to be a laboratory of life that provides a prepared environment which is a Montessori concept meaning that the environment can be designed to facilitate maximum independent learning and exploration by the child and adolescent, therefore that skills and challenges converge, organizing experiences that lead to knowledge.
UNICEF Innocenti's Children and COVID-19 Library is a database collecting research from around the world on COVID-19 and its impacts on children and adolescents.
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COVID-19 & Children: Rapid Research Response