COVID-19

Global survey on the safe reopening of schools available in 6 languages

Global survey on the safe reopening of schools available in 6 languages

The global survey on the safe reopening of schools in now available in Arabic, English, French, German, Portuguese and Spanish. You are invited to complete the survey and to share the survey within your network. The aim of the survey is to gather the experiences and opinions of education and health professionals about the processes in place in their countries and territories to reopen schools safely during the COVID-19 pandemic, and to keep them open.

The survey explores the public health measures that have been put in place in schools; communication of guidance at national and/or local level, and the facilitators or barriers to safe reopening. The survey should take 10-20 minutes to complete. It is a follow-up of the survey which was conducted in May/June 2020.

The survey is conducted by the UNESCO Chair and WHO Collaborating Center in Global Health & Education with the support of its consortium partners from ASCD, CHAIN, Education InternationalEUPHA Child and Adolescent Public Health, EUPHA Health PromotionGCU London, IAAH and their Young Professionals’ Network, IUHPE, NCD Child, UCA and the SHE Network.

More information and access to the survey links  

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Call for conference papers: Social Sciences and the COVID-19 Pandemic

Call for conference papers: Social Sciences and the COVID-19 Pandemic

State of Knowledge and Proposals for Action

Colloquium proposed by the French Presidency of the UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee Bureau – Management Of Social Transformations (MOST) – UNESCO

Life sciences have mobilised globally to understand and fight the COVID-19 virus. Hence, the French Presidency of the UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee Bureau – Management of Social Transformations (MOST) proposes to organise a colloquium and explore the broader social science perspective on the pandemic nearly two years after it started.

Submissions are invited that represent an original study (not previously published) and explore in diverse ways the impact of Covid-19 from social sciences lenses. Submissions must include an abstract consisting of 800 (minimum) – 1000 (maximum) words. 

All manuscripts should focus on one of the four following sub-themes: 

  1. Effects of the pandemic on the human body and the notion of the person
  2. Effects of COVID19 on local community practices and representations
  3. Effects of the pandemic at the level of national institutions
  4. Effects of the pandemic on migration, and indirectly globalisation

 A proposal may be submitted in French or English language.

Abstract due date: 15 July 2021 at 9pm (GMT-5)

Full paper due date: 30 September 2021 at 9pm (GMT-5)

The conference will take place on Thursday 21 October and Friday 22 October 2021 at UNESCO Paris / by videoconference.

More information

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Schooling during COVID-19: recommendations from the European Technical Advisory Group for schooling during COVID-19

Schooling during COVID-19: recommendations from the European Technical Advisory Group for schooling during COVID-19

Recently the recommendations from the WHO European Region Technical Advisory Group (TAG) on Schooling during the COVID-19 pandemic were published. The recommendations represent the work of the TAG between October 2020 and March 2021.

The recommendations were considered at a WHO ministerial meeting on 8 December 2020, after which they were reviewed and updated. The recommendations are endorsed by the TAG to represent the best available evidence and expert advice on safe schooling. Didier Jourdan, chairholder of the UNESCO Chair Global Health & Education was a member of the TAG.

The TAG has formulated recommendations of the following eight key issues:

  1. Keeping schools open is a key objective
  2. Testing strategy in the school setting
  3. Effectiveness of applied risk-mitigation measures on infection control
  4. Educational outcomes, mental and social well-being
  5. Children in vulnerable situations
  6. Changes in the school environment that are likely to be of overall benefit to infection control AND child health
  7. Children’s and adolescents’ involvement in decision making
  8. Vaccination strategies with the purpose of maintaining education as a societal good

Read the recommendations

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What does the evidence tell us about keeping schools open safely – High level ministerial meeting UNESCO

What does the evidence tell us about keeping schools open safely – High level ministerial meeting UNESCO

As the world enters a second year living with the COVID-19 pandemic, half of the global student population is still affected by full or partial school closures. To mobilize and support learning continuity, UNESCO established the Global Education Coalition which today counts 160 members working around three central themes: Gender, connectivity and teachers.

On 29 March 2021, UNESCO convened a high-level ministerial meeting “One year into COVID: Prioritizing education recovery to avoid a generational catastrophe” to take stock of lessons learnt, the greatest risks facing education today and strategies to leave no learner behind. During this meeting, Professor Didier Jourdan, chair holder of the UNESCO Chair and head of the WHO Collaborating Center Global Health and Education, was invited to present a state-of-the-art review of the evidence about keeping schools open safely.

Professor Jourdan presented three solid facts:

  • schools should be among the last places to close and first to reopen
  • school reopening, with comprehensive infection prevention and control measures in place, and when the community infection levels were low or moderate, did not increase community transmission
  • the mechanisms of implementation in schools involve institutional, contextual and personal factors

Read the transcript of the presentation

More information about the high level ministerial meeting

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One year into COVID: Prioritizing education recovery to avoid a generational catastrophe

One year into COVID: Prioritizing education recovery to avoid a generational catastrophe

Monday 29 March, 14:00 CET, a high-level Ministerial on-line event

As the world enters a second year living with the COVID-19 pandemic, UNESCO will convene a high-level ministerial event on 29 March to take stock of lessons learnt, the greatest risks facing education and strategies to leave no learner behind, building on the actions of the Global Education Coalition (GEC) established in March 2020 that marks its first anniversary.

The meeting will provide the global education community with a space for policy dialogue to assess lessons learnt and the most pressing current challenges, informed by the presentation of key data sets. Main participants will be Ministers of Education, high-level representatives of partners within the GEC and of sister agencies. The debate will be framed around three key topics related to:

  • School dropout & learning loss: what are the top policy measures taken to mitigate against school drop out? What remedial actions have been most successful so far to make up for learning loss?
  • Keeping schools open, prioritizing and supporting teachers: how to keep schools open as a priority and ensure a safe learning environment? How to ensure that teachers are safe, considered as frontline workers and supported to adapt to a new learning reality?
  • Digital transformation and the future of education:  what are the key strategies for digital transformation of education systems? How can public-private partnership contribute to advancing the digital transformation? How has COVID-19 impacted the future of education?

Professor Didier Jourdan, chair holder of the UNESCO Chair Global Health & Education will deliver an opening presentation about emerging evidence on safe school reopening.

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Participate in the second survey on the safe reopening of schools

Participate in the second survey on the safe reopening of schools

You are invited to complete the second survey on the safe reopening of schools and to share the survey within your network. The aim of the survey is to gather the experiences and opinions of education and health professionals about the processes in place in their countries and territories to reopen schools safely during the COVID-19 pandemic, and to keep them open.

We want to continue to form a bridge between the scientific data and the needs of people who are implementing national guidance and feeling the impact of the ongoing pandemic in schools and the surrounding communities. It will reflect on intersectoral working to date, and recommendations for moving forward.

The survey explores the public health measures that have been put in place in schools; communication of guidance at national and/or local level, and the facilitators or barriers to safe reopening. The survey should take 10-20 minutes to complete. It is a follow-up of the survey which was conducted in May/June 2020.

The survey is conducted by the UNESCO Chair and WHO Collaborating Center in Global Health & Education with the support of its consortium partners from ASCD, CHAIN, Education InternationalEUPHA Child and Adolescent Public Health, EUPHA Health PromotionGCU London, IAAH and their Young Professionals’ Network, IUHPE, NCD Child, UCA and the SHE Network.

More information and access to the survey link

Posted by Didier in News
Interactive WEBINAR: Education as a “social vaccine” against COVID-19

Interactive WEBINAR: Education as a “social vaccine” against COVID-19

On 10 December 2020 from 14.00-15.00 CET, the interactive webinar: Education as a “social vaccine” against COVID-19 will take place. The webinar is part of the Global Health & Education webinar series and organised by the UNESCO Chair Global Health & Education in collaboration with CHAIN (Centre for Global Health Inequalities Research), EuroHealthNet and Newcastle University. The webinar will be held in English.

Historically, pandemics have been experienced unequally with higher rates of infection and mortality among lower educated people, particularly in more socially unequal countries. Emerging evidence suggests that these inequalities are being mirrored today in the COVID-19 pandemic. Both then and now, these inequalities have emerged through the syndemic nature of COVID-19 — as it interacts with and exacerbates existing social inequalities in chronic disease and the social determinants of health.

During this webinar the experts: Professor Terje Andreas Eikemo, Professor of Sociology, Centre for Global Health Inequalities Research (CHAIN), Dept of Sociology and Political Science, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway, Professor Clare Bambra, Professor of Public Health, Population Health Sciences Institute, Faculty of Medical Sciences, Newcastle University, United Kingdom and Caroline Costongs, Director of EuroHealthNet, Belgium will address the following questions :

  1. What are the inequalities rising from the pandemic and how is COVID-19 being experienced as a syndemic pandemic?
  2. How can we best protect our populations against the negative social, economic and health-related consequences of the current and future pandemics?
  3. What are the consequences for public health, economic and social policies?

To participate: Zoom link.

This webinar will also be broadcast live on our YouTube channel.

More information.

 

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Video Webinar: School issues in children during COVID-19

Video Webinar: School issues in children during COVID-19

Watch the video of the Webinar on School issues in children during COVID-19 organized by the International Pediatric Association (IPA), UNICEF and WHO.

On 2 November, IPA, UNICEF and WHO organised a webinar in French on “School issues in children during COVID-19”. The invited experts spoke about the difficulties of the child in school during the COVID-19 pandemic. They highlighted the significant impact on schoolchildren in terms of learning, loss of opportunities but also the consequences on dropping out of school. This webinar wished to return to the issues in order to better guide professionals towards a successful return to school by following the recommendations.

Pr. Rachida Boukari from the University of Alger, host and moderator of this webinar, was surrounded by experts:

  • Didier Jourdan, holder of the UNESCO Chair Global Health & Education presented “Data from a study of professionals from 42 countries on the process of reopening schools”
  • Mbola Mbassi, Doctor and public health expert at national and international level spoke of the “WHO School Health Services Guidelines for COVID-19”
  • Joseph Haddad, Professor of Pediatrics and Neonatology at Saint George Beirut University Hospital, Lebanon raised “The challenges of Education and Disability in children and COVID-19”.

Pr. Didier Jourdan recalled the interest of this survey which was to collect the points of view of professionals in the field, testimonies from the field on the possible reopening of schools in different countries, and on the successes and difficulties encountered in reopening schools.

In his review of the “WHO School Health Services Guidelines for COVID-19” Dr. Symplice Mbola Mbassi mentioned that schools have been closed in over 190 countries, reaching 90% of the global student population. He added that school closures have exposed children to more anxiety, depression, violence, physical inactivity, poor diet, loss of learning, sedentary lifestyle and increased screen time but also for parents an increase in unmet childcare needs. Dr. Symplice Mbola Mbassi pointed out that schools are places of protection, of learning opportunities. They provide social protection, nutrition, physical activity but also emotional support.

Finally, Pr. Joseph Haddad talked about “The challenges of education and disability in children and COVID-19”. He emphasized the importance of a comprehensive approach to the care of children with disabilities that ensures dignity, based on the rights and needs of these children. The rights of these children are the same as to others, such as the right to education, medical care, rehabilitation, social support and social integration.

Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JJHqv-vlia0

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GEM 2020: Reopening schools safely – the challenges for health and education

GEM 2020: Reopening schools safely – the challenges for health and education

On 20 and 22 October, UNESCO with the Governments of Ghana, Norway and the United Kingdom, has convened a virtual Global Education Meeting (GEM) focused on post-COVID learning. Ministers and representatives from UN and other agencies looked at the challenges for health and education. Children have suffered many impacts on their health, diet, mental health and well-being, but also violence, sexual and reproductive health risks, because of the closure of schools due to COVID19.

The director of School-based programmes at the World Food Program, Carmen Burbano, spoke about the importance of reopening schools and the need for safe and creative ways to keep schools open. Dr. Valentina Baltag from the Department of Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health at the World Health Organization (WHO), added that “There is no zero risk strategy for the reopening of schools, but a lot can be done to make sure they are a safe place to learn”.

Dr. Anshu Banerjee, Director at the Department of Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health and Ageing, WHO, proposed reducing the size of classes,  improving hygiene, and alternating days at school as measures to maintain the health and the well-being of the pupils.

The UNESCO Chair Global Health & Education was represented by Dr. Nicola Gray. She expressed the fact that this year is difficult for students all over the world. She underlined: “It’s fair to say that this year has been a year of lost milestones for children; proms, graduations, birthday parties, she said. These joyful events in the lives of children and young people have been disrupted.”

Read the article

See also

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Symposium: School Health as we confront COVID-19 in Asia

Symposium: School Health as we confront COVID-19 in Asia

On 2 November 2020, 13.15 – 14.45 JST, 5.15 – 6.45 CET, the Osaka University UNESCO Chair Global Health and Education and the Japanese Consortium for Global Health Research will organise the symposium “School Health as we confront COVID-19 in Asia. What have we learned and where do we go from here?” The symposium will be held in English and is part of the Joint Congress on Global Health 2020 in Osaka.

Speakers from seven Asian countries (Cambodia, China, Japan, Korea, Lao PDR, Nepal and Philippines) will present on the COVID-19 situation in their countries and the measures that have been taken in and affecting schools.

Chairs are, Beverley Anne Yamamoto, Osaka University, chair holder UNESCO Chair Global Health & Education and Jun Kobayashi, University of the Ryukyus, JC-GSHR.

ZOOM Webinar URL:
https://zoom.us/j/98411449783?pwd=enlUQXhPSU8rRWJubmFOK1hFa29TQT09
Webinar ID: 984 1144 9783Password: 789328

Please see the flyer for details of the program.

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