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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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Adolescent cyberstanders' experience of cyberbullying in the era of Covid-19 in South Africa

Segun Emmanuel Adewoye

Published: November 2022   Journal: International Journal of Emotional Education,
Indications are that cyberstanders can be negatively affected by witnessing cyberbullying incidents and are even more likely than direct victims of cyberbullying to report symptoms of stress. However, cyberbystanders are understudied in the cyberbullying literature because most research predominantly focuses on perpetrators or direct victims of cyberbullying. This study aimed to explore the lived experiences of adolescent cyberbystanders who witnessed cyberbullying in the COVID-19 era. Twenty adolescent cyberbystanders were purposely selected to participate in this study. The qualitative data was analysed using inductive thematic analysis. The findings demonstrated that cyberbullying has various detrimental effects that include educational, psychological, and emotional consequences for those exposed to it. It is recommended that anti-cyberbullying programmes should be incorporated into the curriculum so that teachers and educational psychologists can emphasise the negative impact of cyberbullying on bullies, victims and bystanders. With more awareness of the detrimental consequences of cyberbullying on all parties involved, adolescents may become more competent in respecting people’s rights and privacy within cyberspace.
Policy insights: the digitalisation of education

The introduction of technology into education has never – alone – solved the problems that education faces. Yet processes of digitalisation have transformed education – and will continue to do so – in ways that are complex, evolving, and deeply unequal. Despite resurgent interest in technology in education policy, planning and practice, as well as in research, many areas that are critical to understanding the digitalisation of education remain under-studied, and the evidence that does exist remains under-shared. This multi-disciplinary publication brings together 24 contributions presented in digestible format across six themes. The publication resulted from a Policy Dialogue convened by NORRAG in partnership with the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Education. Over 20 experts who took part in the expert consultation process contributed to this publication, which aims to surface and amplify under-represented expertise about the digitalisation of education.

Re-imagining the future of education management information systems: ways forward to transform education data systems to support inclusive, quality learning for all
Institution: UNESCO
Published: May 2022

Several factors are contributing to the ongoing evolution of Education Management Information Systems (EMIS). These include increasing digitization of education sector management and education delivery, the accompanying generation of large volumes of data, including about the learning process itself,and the availability of technologies for their analysis (big data analytics), as well as real-time. The pandemic-induced shift to distance learning and the post-pandemic new normal of hybrid learning modalities accelerated the influence of these factors on EMIS systems. In light of thesechanges, it is important to re-formulate the expectation that a modern EMIS should not only serve as a tool for national statistical reporting but rather as a tool to support digitized administrative management at all levels through the provision of timely and actionable information services, and that, furthermore, it should not only support administrative management but also directly  support learning management, including within hybrid and blended learning modalities. This paper, and the discussions during the second International EMIS Conference, stressed that to implement a modern EMIS, it will be important for policy makers to create the necessary (i) legal, policy and institutional frameworks, specifying key EMIS and data governance processes and providing sustained funding commitments to support a multi-year process, (ii) invest in upgrading and sustaining the technological infrastructure, and to (iii) heavily invest in human capacity building.The paper also explores the potential contributions that frontier technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain can make to future EMISs and discusses the role of a community of practice as well as guiding principles for the further evolution of EMISs.


Adapting parent-focused interventions for diverse caregivers of children with intellectual and developmental disabilities: Lessons learned during global crises

Sandra B. Vanegas; Ana D. Dueñas; Megan Kunze (et al.)

Published: April 2022   Journal: Journal of Policy and Practice in Intellectual Disabilities
Parent-focused interventions have been designed to provide training and support to caregivers who are essential in achieving positive outcomes for children with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). In 2020, significant crises, including the COVID-19 pandemic and continued racial tensions, profoundly impacted the livelihood of children with IDD and their families. Many ongoing efforts to address disparities among this population were halted temporarily and required further adaptations. Researchers adapted interventions and support to address the disparities impacting children with IDD and their families with limited guidance. This study provides a descriptive case analysis of four parent-focused interventions that responded to the global crises to continue serving children with IDD and their families.
Steering tertiary education: toward resilient systems that deliver for all

Nina Arnhold; Roberta Malee Bassett

Published: March 2022
As the world seeks to build back better into a new era of green and equitable economic growth, tertiary education systems are at the heart of the big transformations required throughout economies and societies. Tertiary education is vital for the development of human capital and innovation. Strategic and effective investments in tertiary education can serve every country - from the poorest to the richest - by developing its talent and leadership pool, generating, and applying knowledge to local and global challenges, and participating in the global knowledge economy. Effective tertiary education sectors ensure that countries have well-trained doctors, nurses, teachers, managers, engineers, and technicians who are the main actors of effective education and health service delivery and public and private sector development. Decades of insufficient and ineffective investment in postsecondary education and the advanced skills developed through higher learning opportunities have only exacerbated global equity gaps. This paper describes the approach of the World Bank to support the development of effective, equitable, efficient, and resilient tertiary education systems and institutions. It discusses and illustrates five principles that guide the Bank's financial and policy advisory support to STEER tertiary education systems toward optimizing their contribution to equitable and green growth: (i) building diversified Systems, (ii) investing smartly in new Technologies, (iii) ensuring Equity in access and financing, (iv) achieving Efficiency in resource utilization, and (v) acquiring Resilience in service delivery so that learning continues.
Education level and COVID-19 vaccination willingness in adolescents

Elke Humer; Andrea Jesser; Paul L. Plener (et al.)

Published: September 2021   Journal: European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
Vaccination is essential to control the COVID-19 pandemic. High vaccination willingness is a key for successful vaccination programs. This study assessed attitudes toward vaccination in Austrian adolescents and determined whether there are differences in vaccination readiness regarding education status, gender and migration background. Two cross-sectional online surveys were conducted from March to July 2021 in apprentices and high school students. Willingness to receive COVID-19 vaccination was rated on a 5-point scale. In total, n = 2006 (n = 1442 apprentices and n = 564 high school students) completed the survey. Willingness to receive COVID-19 vaccination was higher in students compared to apprentices (p < 0.001). Furthermore, migration background (p = 0.023) and female gender (p = 0.001) were associated with lower vaccination willingness. In conclusion, more efforts are required to improve confidence and willingness to vaccinate adolescents with lower educational levels, those with migrant backgrounds and females.
Education response to COVID 19 pandemic, a special issue proposed by UNICEF: editorial review

Nicolas Reuge; Robert Jenkins; Matt Brossard (et al.)

Institution: *UNICEF
Published: September 2021   Journal: International Journal of Educational Development
This editorial paper presents 11 papers related to the special issue proposed by UNICEF on the Education Response to COVID-19. The COVID-19 pandemic provoked an education emergency of unprecedented scale. At its onset in February 2020, school closures were announced in the worst-hit countries. At the peak of the crisis, 90 per cent of learners worldwide had had their education disrupted. Some learners, especially those from the most marginalised population groups, were put at risk of permanent dropout, provoking long-term and significant negative effects on children’s life-long wellbeing and the socio-economic development of their communities and countries. This special issue, which received contributions from UNICEF staff and various researchers, focuses on the impact of school closures, the effectiveness of remote learning solutions, equity implications, the mitigation of learning loss and notions around re-opening better.
Considerations for mitigating COVID-19 related risks in schools

Amy Gimma; Sham Lal

Published: September 2021   Journal: The Lancet Regional Health - Americas
As the new school year begins in the United States, school districts will be tasked with providing in-person teaching while keeping children and school staff safe, an increasingly difficult goal in the presence of the COVID-19 delta variant. This study aims to provide updated interpretations of past and newly published studies to assist in assessing risk in schools, and to add additional perspectives on addressing the social determinants of learning and on the role of race and other social factors. It advocates for the continued implementation of risk mitigation strategies in schools, including mandatory mask policies, improved ventilation, and convenient access to vaccinations for those eligible, as recommended by the CDC, and to use this opportunity to make long-term improvements to our schools as a matter of urgency.
UNICEF’s lessons learned from the education response to the COVID-19 crisis and reflections on the implications for education policy

Janet Lennox; Nicolas Reuge; Francisco Benavides

Published: May 2021   Journal: International Journal of Educational Development
COVID-19 triggered mass innovation that grew flexible learning modalities and pathways that can be built upon in future sector plans to make education systems more resilient. These tools must be paired with investments in the people expected to use them and strengthened data systems. To ensure plans are rooted in ever-pressurised budgets, Education Ministers will increasingly need to turn to economic analysis. Expansion of partnerships will be necessary to secure greater and more innovative forms of finance but also affordable digital learning solutions. If these opportunities are seized alongside the disruption wrought by the pandemic, they can equalize opportunities and accelerate progress.
Potential impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on communication and language skills in children

Sara A. Charney; Stephen M. Camarata; Alexander Chern

Published: November 2020   Journal: Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to many unintended, long-lasting consequences for society. Preventative practices such as mask wearing, social distancing, and virtual meetings and classrooms to address contagion concerns may negatively affect communication, particularly in the pediatric population, as schools have begun to open this fall. Increasing awareness and creating innovative methods to promote communication and language learning in settings both in person and virtual is paramount. Although more studies are needed to characterize the pandemic’s impact on pediatric speech and language development, clinicians and parents should be cognizant of this phenomenon and proactive in facilitating an optimal communication environment for children.
Embracing a culture of lifelong learning: contribution to the futures of education initiative
Institution: UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning
Published: October 2020

This report presents a future-focused vision of education, which demands a major shift towards a culture of lifelong learning by 2050. It argues that the challenges humanity faces, those resulting from the climate crisis and from technological and demographic change, not to mention those posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and the inequalities it has exacerbated, call for societies that understand themselves as learning societies and people who identify themselves as learners throughout their lives.

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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.