Many schools are returning in person for their sessions this fall.
From Europe to Asia, here are some updates on how education around the world is faring as students head back to their schools during the coronavirus pandemic.
In Europe, though there are new cases and a few places where students have had to be quarantined or sent home, schooling has not been a main contributor to new COVID-19 cases. Many students in Germany have returned to classes. According to Germany’s Robert Koch Institute (RKI), there have been 31 outbreaks and 150 total cases. For the most part, cases are attributed to other causes. Though students wear masks at most times, in a few cases it is not a requirement.
Other places like Scotland are carrying on similarly and seem to be experiencing the same level of transmission. In France, Emmanuel Macron announced that schools are adapting and aiming for students to return this month.
In Czech Republic, according to Reuters, students will return to schools this month with safety precautions like masks. Other locations like Lithuania have opened classrooms up on September 1st, Baltic News Network reports, with plans to adapt to the case levels as time goes on, preparing to distance students and require masks.
Many Chinese students had to be sent home after outbreaks in June, but they have been sent back to schools at the end of August and beginning of September. Xinhua News says that Beijing has announced dates for students to return and there are plans to make onsite learning safer.
According to Education Minister Nataphol Teepsuwan, Thailand schools reopened last month and plan to continue their in-person learning without as many restrictions, such as: social distancing. This is due to their low amount of cases and sustained safety over time.
In India, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said that for students in grades 9-12, there will be a partial reopening of schools for those who wish to attend in person and receive help from their teachers. There are numerous safety regulations in place, and the country is still observing how this manner of returning to schools will progress from September 1st until November 14th.
According to WHO, schools are only fully opened in six of the 36 countries that were surveyed in sub-Saharan Africa. Many of the countries plan to resume operations this month, but are taking strong safety precautions to ensure COVID-19 prevention. There are social distancing measures in place, as well as mask wearing and hand washing requirements.
Human Rights Watch reports that countries in Africa such as Morocco and Kenya have faced difficulties with remote learning. UNICEF suggests countries to resume learning in-person as soon as they can with the safety procedures in place.
Many schools in Latin America have cut down the days that students are required to meet or have stopped their in-person learning. In Bolivia, the school year – normally concluding in November – was cancelled because of difficult remote learning or lack of information retention, according to the Americas Society/Council of Americas (AS/COA).
In Paraguay, classes have delayed opening until December. This is a pattern with other countries in Latin America, and many do not plan to reopen in the foreseeable future, or they are aiming to assess the situation further as the pandemic goes on.
In the United States, states including: Alabama, Colorado, and Hawaii all have planned to reopen, according to USA Today. Many states have reopened for learning, but this has also seen an increase in COVID-19 cases in multiple places. Along the east coast, many states have not returned to college. In New Jersey, numerous colleges have not returned for in-person learning, though a few high schools have implemented optional in-person classes. A lot of states have reopened in a partial manner or with less people in attendance. There is a large combination of remote and in-person learning across the nation.
Canada has also debated whether or not to reopen schools. Toronto Public Health is adamant that class sizes are reduced and recommend distance is maintained.