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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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Education on hold. A generation of children in Latin America and the Caribbean are missing out on schooling because of COVID-19

More than seven months into the pandemic, COVID-19 is putting on hold the education of over 137 million children in Latin America and the Caribbean. Children in the region have already lost on average four times more days of schooling compared to the rest of the world. While schools are gradually reopening in several parts of the world, the vast majority of classrooms are still closed across the region.  Over one-third of all countries in Latin America and the Caribbean have yet to set a date for school reopening.

UNICEF data show that in a region long characterized by high levels of inequality, COVID-19 has exacerbated deep inequities in the availability of education. Although much is at stake, there is also a significant opportunity. By protecting and boosting investments in public education, governments can “build back better,” laying the foundation for education systems that offer children not only improved learning but a safer, more resilient environment than existed before the pandemic.

Minding our minds during COVID-19: helping school going children manage their mental health
Institution: UNESCO - New Delhi Office
Published: October 2020
In India, due to the closure of all schools, colleges and other learning institutions, more than 320 million students have been affected1. Out of these students, 247 million are enrolled in elementary and secondary education, while 28 million had been attending pre-school education. In addition to these numbers, more than  6 million girls and boys were already out of school before the advent of COVID-19. This guide is designed for principals, head teachers, teachers and parents to help school-going children maintain their mental health and wellness during these difficult times.
Cite this research | Open access | No. of pages: 70 | Language: English | Topics: Mental Health, Education | Tags: adolescents, education, mental stress | Countries: India | Publisher: UNESCO - New Delhi Office
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COVID-19 and Girls’ Education in East Asia and Pacific
Institution: UNICEF - East Asia and Pacific
Published: October 2020 UNICEF Publication
This brief summarizes the impact of COVID-19 on the education of girls in countries across the East Asia and Pacific region and proposes considerations for national stakeholders and policy makers in their school reopening efforts and beyond. The Brief also highlights and provides specific examples of UNICEF’s programmatic interventions to ensure that girls are not left behind in the efforts to reimagine more inclusive and equitable quality education systems after COVID-19.
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What have we learnt? Findings from a survey of ministries of education on national responses to COVID-19
Institution: UNESCO, *UNICEF, The World Bank
Published: October 2020 UNICEF Publication
According to this new report published by UNESCO, UNICEF and the World Bank, schoolchildren in low- and lower-middle-income countries have already lost nearly four months of schooling since the start of the pandemic, compared to an average of six weeks among high-income countries. Compiling data from surveys on national education responses to COVID-19 from 149 countries between July and October, the report also finds that schoolchildren in low- and lower-middle income countries were less likely to have access to remote learning or to be monitored on a day-to-day basis by teachers and were more likely to have delays in their schools reopening.
Cite this research | Open access | No. of pages: 51 | Language: English | Topics: Education | Tags: education, government policy, COVID-19 response | Publisher: UNESCO, *UNICEF, The World Bank
Fiscal responses to education and training in the context of COVID-19
Institution: UNESCO
Published: September 2020
This paper aims to assess to what extent education has been addressed in massive governments' fiscal responses being taken since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and to make a case for sustained investment in education and training.
Learning from youth in West Africa in COVID-19
Published: August 2020
When speaking about the impact of COVID-19 on their lives, young women and young men prioritize different areas. Young women are more likely to speak to the importance of COVID-19’s impact on education, food, and safety. Both young women and young men prioritize impacts on income, but for young men, this is a much bigger concern. Only young women are raising concerns about access to information, implying that this is a bigger obstacle and gap for young women than it is for young men.
COVID-19: Effects of school closures on foundational skills and promising practices for monitoring and mitigating learning loss

While remote learning measures are essential for mitigating the short-term and long-term consequences of COVID-19 school closures, little is known about their impact on and effectiveness for learning.

This working paper contributes to filling this gap by: 1. Exploring how disrupted schooling may affect foundational learning skills, using data from MICS6 (Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys - round 6) in 2017–2019; 2. Examining how countries are delivering and monitoring remote learning based on data from the UNESCO-UNICEF-World Bank’s National Education Responses to COVID-19 School Closures survey; and 3. Presenting promising key practices for the effective delivery and monitoring of remote learning.

Psychological effects of COVID-19 pandemic on society and its reflections on education

AUTHOR(S)
Muhammed Akat; Kasım Karataş

Published: August 2020   Journal: Turkish Studies
In this study, the possible psychological effects of COVID-19 on children, youth, elderly people and healthcare staff were discussed in the light of theoretical information. In order to minimize negative psychological effects, some recommendations were presented.
COVID-19: A reason to double down on investments in pre-primary education
This paper summarizes the recent UNICEF analysis on investing in early childhood education in developing countries. It provides a benefit-cost analysis of investments in pre-primary education in 109 developing low- and middle-income countries and territories, using data from 2008 to 2019.
Save Our Education: Protect every child’s right to learn in the COVID-19 response and recovery

AUTHOR(S)
Emma Wagner; Hollie Warner

Institution: Save the Children
Published: July 2020   Journal: Save the Children International
New analysis in this global report shows how COVID-19 may impact the funding of education, as well as the countries most at risk of falling behind. It also highlights the change we want to see for children and recommendations for governments and the international community so we can keep learning alive, support every child to return to school and build back for better learning.
Cite this research | Open access | No. of pages: 102 | Language: English | Topics: Education | Tags: children, education, COVID-19 | Publisher: Save the Children
Children wait for a teacher in a classroom at Treichville Regional School, in the city of Abidjan. Although the school reopened after being closed for many years due to armed conflict, most teachers remain absent. (2011)
Framework for reopening schools
Global school closures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic present an unprecedented risk to children’s education, protection and well-being. Schools do much more than teach children how to read, write and count. They also provide nutrition, health and hygiene services; mental health and psychosocial support; and dramatically reduce the risk of violence, early pregnancy and more. And it’s the most vulnerable children who are the hardest hit by school closures, and we know from previous crises that the longer they are out of school, the less likely they are to return.When deciding whether to reopen schools, authorities should look at the benefits and risks across education, public health and socio-economic factors, in the local context, using the best available evidence. This policy brief aims to inform the decision-making process regarding school reopening, support national preparations and guide the implementation process, as part of overall public health and education planning processes. The guidelines outline six key priorities to assess the readiness of those schools and inform planning.
Impacts of Pandemics and Epidemics on Child Protection: Lessons learned from a rapid review in the context of COVID-19

 

This rapid review collates and synthesizes evidence on the child protection impacts of COVID-19 and previous pandemics, epidemics and infectious disease outbreaks. It provides lessons for global and national responses to COVID19 and recommendations for future research priorities.

The evidence on the impacts of pandemics and epidemics on child protection outcomes is limited and skewed towards studies on the effects of HIV/AIDS on stigma. There is also some evidence on the effects of Ebola on outcomes such as orphanhood, sexual violence and exploitation, and  school enrolment, attendance and dropout. The evidence on other pandemics or epidemics, including COVID-19, is extremely limited.

There are various pathways through which infectious disease outbreaks can exacerbate vulnerabilities, generate new risks and result in negative outcomes for children. Outcomes are typically multi-layered, with immediate outcomes for children, families and communities - such as being orphaned, stigmatization and discrimination and reductions in household income - leading to further negative risks and outcomes for children in the intermediate term. These risks include child labour and domestic work, harmful practices (including early marriage), and early and adolescent pregnancy.

Lessons from previous pandemics and epidemics suggest that the following could mitigate the child protection risks:

  • Responding to children in vulnerable circumstances, including orphans (e.g. throughpsychosocial interventions focused on improving mental health and community-based interventions that provide families with resources and access to services)
  • Responding to stigmatization and discrimination (e.g. throughinformation and communication campaigns and support from public health systems, communities and schools)
  • Investing in social protectionenable livelihoods during outbreaks and to counteract shocks
  • Promoting access to health, protective and justice services, which may be restricted or suspending during infectious disease outbreaks
  • Ensuring continued access to education, particularly for girls, who may be adversely affected

There is a high burden of proof for data collection during the current COVID-19 outbreak than there would be in normal circumstances. Evidence generation strategies during and after the COVID-19 crisis should consider rigorous retrospective reviews and building upon monitoring, evidence and learning functions of pre-existing programmes – particularly where there is ongoing longitudinal data collection. There should also be efforts to synthesize evidence from existing research on the effectiveness of interventions that respond to the key risk pathways identified in this review.

 

 

 

Interactive dashboard with up-to-date information on education and COVID-19
Institution: *UNICEF
Published: May 2020
This dashboard shows country-level data  on the impact of COVID-19 on national education systems. The COVID-19 page provides an overview of the impact caused by the current outbreak on different aspects of education and learning.
Refugees children hard hit by coronavirus school closures

Even before the coronavirus pandemic shuttered schools around the world, disrupting the education of almost 1.6 billion students according to UNICEF, classrooms were closed to millions of displaced children. Less than half of school-aged refugee children were enrolled while only one in four were attending secondary school. Months-long school closures risk reversing small gains recently made in expanding access to education for refugee children.

The COVID-19 pandemic: shocks to education and policy responses
Institution: The World Bank
Published: May 2020
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, the world was living a learning crisis. Before the pandemic, 258 million children and youth of primary- and secondary-school age were out of school. And low schooling quality meant many who were in school learned too little. The Learning Poverty rate in low-and middle-income countries was 53 percent—meaning that over half of all 10-year-old children couldn't read and understand a simple age appropriate story. Even worse, the crisis was not equally distributed: the most disadvantaged children and youth had the worst access to schooling, highest dropout rates, and the largest learning deficits.
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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.