Evidence Paper | No Education, No Protection: What school closures under COVID-19 mean for children and young people in crisis-affected contexts
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in unprecedented levels of school closures, affecting up to 90% of learners globally. While it was deemed necessary to close schools and other education institutions to reduce transmission of COVID-19, the paper shows how this has clearly had negative consequences for the wellbeing of children and young people, especially those in crisis contexts.
Following on from the Weighing Up the Risks joint policy paper, INEE and The Alliance have dug deeper into the evidence from education and child protection providers around the world, including case studies from Colombia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Lebanon, Rwanda, and Sri Lanka, in order to draw some global and country-specific conclusions and recommendations.
The research paper also highlights how the impacts of school closures show the extent to which schools provide far more than just education; they also support wellbeing and healthy development through psychosocial support, pastoral care, school meals, referrals to specialised services, and by giving children and young people a chance to learn and grow. Without access to these extracurricular services, existing inequalities are entrenched and exacerbated. Closing schools also closes the door on the future for some of the most vulnerable children and young people.
Read more about this research process and paper in this accompanying blog post.
The Alliance and INEE call on decision makers within government ministries to use this paper to frame a holistic analysis of school closure on the wellbeing of children and young people, and to consider the safe reopening of schools.
We also call on advocacy teams, cluster coordinators, and agencies that have staff seconded into government ministries, to work with the national governments to support this analysis to be undertaken from a child-centred perspective.
This paper is available in English, with Arabic, French, Portuguese, and Spanish version forthcoming.
To discuss this paper and its dissemination to decision makers, please contact Mark Chapple - Technical Focal Point, Collaboration Between Child Protection & Education in Emergencies.