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Kalpana Vincent; Viviane Bianco; Sarah Fuller (et al.)
The return to face-to-face learning helps children return to a sense of normality, although different normality as prevention and control measures have likely altered school and classroom routines. It is important that schools should have a risk-mitigation strategy in place. Countries should ensure these strategies carefully balance the likely benefits for, and harms to, younger and older age groups of children when making decisions about implementing infection prevention and control measures. Any measure needs to be balanced with the even worse alternative of schools being closed and Any measure introduced by schools should follow standard protocols for implementation. This publication shares more detailed considerations for health and educational authorities on the public health and social measures to reopen schools as safely as possible.
Schools are essential for children’s learning, health, safety and well-being. But students’ learning suffered a major setback when most educational institutions reduced or cancelled in-person instruction and moved to remote learning and teaching to minimize the spread of COVID-19. Prolonged school closures continue to jeopardise the future of millions of children across the globe. The Europe and Central Asia Region is no exception. Schools should be the first to open and last to close. Getting children back in the classroom remains a priority for UNICEF and WHO Regional Offices, striking a balance between applying public health and social measures and ensuring that children are able to continue learning and socializing to the greatest extent possible. UNICEF and WHO have created several tools and resources to support countries in their back-to-school efforts. This joint UNICEF Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia (UNICEF/ ECARO) and WHO Regional Office for Europe Schooling Resource Pack has an easy-to-find compilation of materials to help parents/caregivers, teachers and students return to school safely.
Alexander Joachim; Felix Dewald; Isabelle Suárez (et al.)
The extent to which children and adolescents contribute to SARS-CoV-2 transmission remains not fully understood. Novel high-capacity testing methods may provide real-time epidemiological data in educational settings helping to establish a rational approach to prevent and minimize SARS-CoV-2 transmission. This study investigated whether pooling of samples for SARS-CoV-2 detection by RT-qPCR is a sensitive and feasible high-capacity diagnostic strategy for surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 infections in schools. In this study, students and school staff of 14 educational facilities in Germany were tested sequentially between November 9 and December 23, 2020, two or three times per week for at least three consecutive weeks. Participants were randomized for evaluation of two different age adjusted swab sampling methods (oropharyngeal swabs or buccal swabs compared to saliva swabs using a ‘lolli method’).
Timothy J. Hilbert; Candace Brancato; Kelsey Carter (et al.)
The COVID-19 pandemic led to school closures around the world, affecting almost 1.6 billion students. The effects of even short disruptions in a child’s schooling on their learning and well-being have been shown to be acute and long lasting. The capacities of education systems to respond to the crisis by delivering remote learning and support to children and families have been diverse yet uneven.
This report reviews the emerging evidence on remote learning throughout the global school closures during the COVID-19 pandemic to help guide decision-makers to build more effective, sustainable, and resilient education systems for current and future crises.
Chris Jones; Colin Forster
Neeraj Sood; Rashmi Shetgiri; Anna Rodriguez (et al.)
Mehmet Akif Karaman; Hasan Esici; Ismail Hakkı Tomar (et al.)
Kim Caarls; Victor Cebotari; Despina Karamperidou; Maria Carolina Alban Conto; Juliana Zapata; Rachel Yang Zhou
By the end of 2019, 4.8 million refugees and migrants had left Venezuela – making it the largest external displacement crisis in the region’s recent history. Of these, 1 in 4 was a child.
Across Latin America and the Caribbean, since November 2020, 137 million girls and boys are missing out on their education due to the prolonged closure of schools during COVID-19. The implications are troubling, especially for migrant and refugee children, for whom access to inclusive and equitable education remains a major challenge.
This study collates evidence from Latin America, the Caribbean and across the world to gain a better understanding of the multifaceted linkages between education and migration. It estimates gaps in educational outcomes; identifies structural barriers to education; and highlights promising practices to inform policy.
Shari Krishnaratne; Lisa M. Pfadenhauer; Michaela Coenen (et al.)
In response to the spread of SARS‐CoV‐2 and the impact of COVID‐19, national and subnational governments implemented a variety of measures in order to control the spread of the virus and the associated disease. While these measures were imposed with the intention of controlling the pandemic, they were also associated with severe psychosocial, societal, and economic implications on a societal level. One setting affected heavily by these measures is the school setting. By mid‐April 2020, 192 countries had closed schools, affecting more than 90% of the world’s student population. In consideration of the adverse consequences of school closures, many countries around the world reopened their schools in the months after the initial closures. To safely reopen schools and keep them open, governments implemented a broad range of measures. The evidence with regards to these measures, however, is heterogeneous, with a multitude of study designs, populations, settings, interventions and outcomes being assessed. To make sense of this heterogeneity, we conducted a rapid scoping review (8 October to 5 November 2020). This rapid scoping review is intended to serve as a precursor to a systematic review of effectiveness, which will inform guidelines issued by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Edward Goldstein; Marc Lipsitch; Muge Cevik
There is limited information on the effect of age on the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 infection in different settings. This research reviewed published studies/data on detection of SARS-CoV-2 infection in contacts of COVID-19 cases, serological studies, and studies of infections in schools.
Rebecca T. Leeb; Sandy Price; Sarah Sliwa (et al.)
Children aged <10 years can transmit SARS-CoV-2 in school settings, but less is known about COVID-19 incidence, characteristics, and health outcomes among school-aged children (aged 5–17 years) with COVID-19. Since March, 277,285 COVID-19 cases in children have been reported. COVID-19 incidence among adolescents aged 12–17 years was approximately twice that in children aged 5–11 years. Underlying conditions were more common among school-aged children with severe outcomes related to COVID-19. Weekly incidence, SARS-CoV-2 test volume, and percentage of tests positive among school-aged children varied over time and by region of the United States. It is important for schools and communities to monitor multiple indicators of COVID-19 among school-aged children and layer prevention strategies to reduce COVID-19 disease risk for students, teachers, school staff, and families. These results can provide a baseline for monitoring trends and evaluating mitigation strategies.
Ana M. Greco; Noemí Pereda; Georgina Guilera
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.
Read the latest quarterly digest on violence against children and women during COVID-19.
The first digest covers children and youth mental health under COVID-19.
Subscribe to updates on new research about COVID-19 & children
COVID-19 & Children: Rapid Research Response