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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

UNDER DEVELOPMENT UNICEF Innocenti's curated library of COVID-19 + Children research

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1 - 15 of 150
The COVID-19 school closure effect on students’ print and digital leisure reading

AUTHOR(S)
Baoqi Sun; Chin Ee Loh; Youyan Nie

Published: April 2021   Journal: Computers and Education Open
Adopting an explanatory sequential mixed methods design, this study examined Singaporean primary school students’ changes in reading enjoyment, reading amount, and their access to resources in print and digital formats during the COVID-19 school closure. Survey data showed reading was a more preferred leisure activity during the school closure. Students’ reading enjoyment prior to the closure was positively correlated with changes in their reading enjoyment and reading amount during the closure, for both print and digital formats. Despite the ubiquity of devices, devices were underutilised for reading purposes. Students demonstrated a clear preference for print reading over reading digitally both before and during the school closure and relied more on home than online resources for reading materials. Changes in time spent on devices during school closure were not related to changes in digital reading amount, but negatively related to changes in reading enjoyment and print reading amount over the same period, suggesting more time on devices may not naturally lead to more reading digitally.
Lebanon education in crisis: raising the alarm
Institution: Save the Children
Published: April 2021
At least 1.2 million children across Lebanon have had their education disrupted for more than one year, with many having last attended school in October 2019, following protests and civil unrest. This is impacting Lebanese, Syrian and Palestinian children alike. With the country slipping deeper into an economic crisis, a safe and systematic school reopening in Lebanon is difficult to imagine. Even before this, children across the country already had lower than average literacy and numeracy rates in the Middle East region. This brief by Save the Children calls for global attention and action on the unfolding education crisis in Lebanon.  It draws from national and global data sources, sectoral recommendations, and the experiences of children in the country.

Socioeconomic impacts of COVID-19 in low-income countries

AUTHOR(S)
Anna Josephson; Talip Kilic; Jeffrey D. Michler

Published: March 2021   Journal: Nature Human Behaviour
The emergence of SARS-CoV-2 and attempts to limit its spread have resulted in a contraction of the global economy. This study documents the socioeconomic impacts of the pandemic among households, adults and children in low-income countries. To do so, it relies on longitudinal household survey data from Ethiopia, Malawi, Nigeria and Uganda, originating from pre-COVID-19 face-to-face household surveys plus phone surveys implemented during the pandemic. 256 million individuals—77% of the population—are estimated to live in households that have lost income during the pandemic. Attempts to cope with this loss are exacerbated by food insecurity and an inability to access medicine and staple foods. Finally, this study finds that student– teacher contact has dropped from a pre-COVID-19 rate of 96% to just 17% among households with school-aged children. These findings can inform decisions by governments and international organizations on measures to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The impact of the lockdown and the re-opening of schools and day cares on the epidemiology of SARS-CoV-2 and other respiratory infections in children: a nationwide register study in Finland

AUTHOR(S)
Marjut Haapanen; Marjo Renko; Miia Artama (et al.)

Published: March 2021   Journal: EClinicalMedicine
Nationwide restrictions started in Finland in March to prevent the spread of COVID-19, leading to school and day care closures. The aim of this study is to describe the effect of closures and re-openings on the respiratory pathogen epidemiology. Laboratory-confirmed cases of SARS-CoV-2; respiratory syncytial virus (RSV); influenza (A & B); parainfluenza-, adeno-, and rhinoviruses; Mycoplasma pneumoniae; and Streptococcus pneumoniae in children were collected from the National Infectious Disease Register over the period of 2017–2020. Weekly incidences (weeks 1 to 35) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated per 100 000 children in 2020 and compared by incidence rate ratios (IRRs) to corresponding periods in 2017−2019.
Cambodia COVID-19 joint education needs assessment
Institution: *UNICEF, Save the Children
Published: March 2021
On 16 March 2020, the Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC) took the decision to close all education institutions, including public and private schools, as a preventative measure against the spread of COVID-19. These school closures have resulted in disruptions to learning in all of Cambodia’s estimated 13,482 schools, from pre-school through to upper secondary schools, with an estimated 3.2 million students effected. In response, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MoEYS), together with development partners (and other stakeholders, made significant efforts to provide continuous distance learning to children across all education levels. To assist with continuous quality improvement of distance education services during this difficult time, MoEYS and the Education Sector Working Group (ESWG) decided to undertake a comprehensive, coordinated assessment of the sector to gain evidence to help identify the best approaches to inform the further development of COVID-19 response and recovery efforts; to support the development of evidence-based response policies and practices, and to inform a holistic national response and recovery plan.
Safe back to school: Sierra Leone
Institution: Save the Children
Published: March 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated an existing learning crisis in Sierra Leone, and has disrupted the learning of over 2.4 million children across the country. The most marginalised and deprived children, including girls, children from poor households, and children from rural areas, already had limited access to good quality education prior to the pandemic, and are now at an increased risk of being left behind, and not returning to school at all. Save the Children are calling on the Government of Sierra Leone to commit to realising the right to quality education for all children by ensuring that all children are able to return to school safely, and that long-term, systemic issues with the education system damaging the quality of learning are acted on to ensure that all children are able to access good quality education.

Direct and indirect effects of COVID-19 pandemic and response in South Asia

Over recent decades, South Asia has made remarkable progress in improving the health of mothers and children. But the year 2020 brought a great shock to South Asia, as it did to the whole world. The COVID-19 pandemic has had major and multiple impacts – both direct and indirect. One of the critical indirect impacts has been severe disruptions to the delivery and use of routine services, including essential health and nutrition services. The region saw significant drops in the use of both preventive and curative services. Direct and Indirect Effects of COVID-19 Pandemic and Response in South Asia uses a series of exercises based on actual observed changes in services and intervention coverage to model impacts on mortality, hospitalizations, and ICU admissions due to COVID-19. It also models the impact of nationwide stay-at-home orders to curb the spread of COVID-19 on maternal and child mortality, educational attainment of children, and the region’s economy. The study focuses on South Asia’s six most populous countries: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka and makes the case for interventions and strategies to minimise these indirect consequences.

Influence of the characteristics of the house and place of residence in the daily educational activities of children during the period of COVID-19’ confinement

AUTHOR(S)
María Luisa Zagalaz-Sanchez; Javier Cachon-Zagalaz; Víctor Arufe-Giraldez (et al.)

Published: March 2021   Journal: Heliyon
The period of confinement motivated by the COVID-19 pandemic and established by the governments of different countries has influenced the lifestyle of millions of children, not being able to continue carrying out multiple educational activities as they did until confinement. The objective of this research was to determine and analyze whether the living conditions of children during the period of confinement caused by COVID-19 influenced their daily educational activities. A descriptive, comparative and cross-sectional quantitative study with a non-experimental design was carried out, with a single measurement in a single group. Factors associate with living conditions were analyzed, such as the place of residence and the type of house in which Spanish children have been confined, as well as the number and use of technological devices. The parents' perception of the children's state of fatigue, happiness, energy and tiredness was also analyzed.
Public health, polio, and pandemics: fear and anxiety about health in children’s literature

AUTHOR(S)
Kristine Moruzi; Shih‑Wen Sue Chen; Paul Venzo

Published: March 2021   Journal: Children's Literature in Education
This article begins by discussing approximately thirty picture books dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic published digitally in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and other English-speaking countries in the first six months of 2020. The worldwide impact of COVID-19 resulted in the rapid global digital publication of numerous English-language children’s picture books aimed at informing child readers about public health concerns and how children could contribute to improving health outcomes. This exploration of contemporary picture books is intertwined with examinations of two other public health crises that appeared in literature for children: the discussion of British children’s health in the Junior Red Cross Magazine in the 1920s and the American polio outbreak discussed in educational materials and fiction in the 1940s and 1950s. These comparisons not only enable us to situate the COVID-19 pandemic within a history of transnational responses to concerns about children’s health but also to expand our understanding of how children are positioned to take individual responsibility for community public health issues. This wide range of Anglophone texts published in the United Kingdom, the United States, and around the world demonstrates the extent to which adults attempt to guide children towards specific behaviours to promote individual health. They also reflect a common understanding of childhood in which children have an obligation to contribute to societal wellbeing through their individual actions.
School reopening without robust COVID-19 mitigation risks accelerating the pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Deepti Gurdasani; Nisreen A. Alwan; Trisha Greenhalgh (et al.)

Published: March 2021   Journal: The Lancet
On Feb 22, 2021, the UK Government announced that schools in England would fully reopen on March 8, 2021. While returning to school as soon as possible is imperative for the education, social development, and mental and physical welfare of children, not enough has been done to make schools safer for students and staff. Without additional mitigations, increases in transmission are likely, this time with more infectious and possibly more virulent variants, resulting in further lockdowns, school closures, and absenteeism. Even when schools were supposed to be fully open, at points of high community transmission, 22% of secondary school children were not attending due to self-isolation. In some areas, attendance was as low as 61%.
Child-rearing during postgraduate medical training and its relation to stress and burnout: results from a single-institution multispecialty survey

AUTHOR(S)
Marguerite W. Spruce; Alicia A. Gingrich; Amanda Phares (et al.)

Published: February 2021   Journal: Military Medicine
Child-rearing is difficult for medical trainees during the Covid-19 era, but much of the available evidence is limited to individual specialties or lacks an analysis of well-being. In light of this, this study sought to examine current perspectives across a wide range of medical specialties, determine associations with stress and burnout, and identify potential supportive solutions. After Institutional Review Board approval, a voluntary and anonymous survey was sent to all residents and fellows at a large academic medical center with a U.S. Air Force joint training agreement in 2019. Frequency tables were generated for survey responses, using χ 2 test for analysis between groups.
Breaking the child labour cycle through education: issues and impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on children of in-country seasonal migrant workers in the brick kilns of Nepal

AUTHOR(S)
Angela Daly; Alyson Hillis; Shubhendra Man Shrestha (et al.)

Published: February 2021   Journal: Children's Geographies
This viewpoint offers a commentary on the status of Nepalese children of migrant workers in the brick kilns of the construction industry and the potential impacts of COVID-19 on their lives. The paper identifies a temporal cycle of movement in the life of a child from a migrant working family with the variances that need to be taken into consideration by stakeholders to tackle child labour, and to reduce risks to children of migrant workers posed by the current pandemic. It draws on the education and emergencies literature to examine ‘lessons learned’ and considers key questions to ask in the time of COVID-19, especially in the education sector, to mitigate further entrenchment of exclusion of this group of children in Nepal.
Self-construction via texts: COVID-19 and child fiction

AUTHOR(S)
Malik Haroon Afzal

Published: February 2021   Journal: New Review of Children's Literature and Librarianship
COVID-19 has re-shuffled human life in numerous ways. The ideology of restraint and social distancing is on top of all the changes gifted to mankind by the novel virus. In other words, social distancing as a ‘new normal’ has become an established reality. In this context, the study aims at exploring the mechanics of construction of this ‘new-normal’ via texts –literary and non-literary. According to new historicism, texts and co-texts are employed by power as tools to build as well as restraint a particular ideology. The paper aims at showing the treatment of COVID-19 by the literary texts produced during this vast human crisis particularly child fiction. It also re-validates the critique of new historicism in the under-discussion context. For this purpose, two short stories—Together by Kevin Poplawski and My Hero is You by UNICEF—have been analysed in the backdrop of the political (non-literary) discourse produced to combat COVID-19. The analysis, thus, finds the heavy reliance of world powers on literary and non-literary discourses for the inclusion of the ‘new normative’ of social distancing and personal care. It is also suggested that the pandemic has bestowed a relatively polite image to ‘power’ due to its efforts to construct the ‘new normal’ abiding selves and inoculate the ‘new normative of social distancing’ that ultimately favours humanity.
“We didn't get much schooling because we were fishing all the time”: potential impacts of irregular school attendance on the spread of epidemics

AUTHOR(S)
Jessica Dimka; Lisa Sattenspiel

Published: February 2021   Journal: American Journal of Human Biology
Especially in traditional, rural, and low‐income areas, children attend school irregularly. School‐based interventions are common mitigation strategies for infectious disease epidemics, but if daily attendance is not the norm, the impact of schools on disease spread might be overestimated.
COVID-19 could reverse 20 years of progress: emerging policy recommendations for young people in developing countries

AUTHOR(S)
Santiago Cueto; Alula Pankhurst; Renu Singh

Institution: Young Lives
Published: January 2021

Over the last two decades, there has been evidence of significant improvements in the overall living standards of Young Lives families. Young people are substantially better off than their parents and have aspirations for social mobility, despite the impact of persistent inequalities undermining educational outcomes and the chances of getting a decent job. New research from the Young Lives COVID-19 phone survey in Ethiopia, India, Peru, and Vietnam paints a worrying picture of how the economic and social impact of COVID-19 lockdowns and related restrictions could not only halt progress made over the last two generations, but could also reverse life chances and entrench existing inequalities for many young people, hitting those living in poor communities hardest.

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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

UNICEF Innocenti is mobilizing a rapid research response in line with UNICEF’s global response to the COVID-19 crisis. The initiatives we’ve begun will provide the broad range of evidence needed to inform our work to scale up rapid assessment, develop urgent mitigating strategies in programming and advocacy, and preparation of interventions to respond to the medium and longer-term consequences of the COVID-19 crisis. The research projects cover a rapid review of evidence, education analysis, and social and economic policies.