Many countries dealing with the World Bank implement various forms of these strategies, including the following:
Enhance preparedness while keeping schools open: This includes imposing preventive measures in schools and supporting them (Afghanistan); Developing protocols for schools to deal with diseases and potential conditions (Egypt, Russia, and Belarus); Use the educational system infrastructure and human resources to address the spread of infection in local communities (Liberia, Sierra Leone); Reducing physical contact by reducing social and extracurricular activities (Singapore, Russia).
Selective closure of schools: By resorting to isolating treatment areas, some governments have chosen to close local schools as a temporary measure (India, for example). In half of the cases so far, we have seen these local approaches expand geographically later (Brazil, India, Canada, and Australia).
School closures nationwide (the most widely used option globally): With the spread of the Corona Virus (COVID-19), many countries are announcing school closures nationwide. Indeed, many are concerned that children and young adults – although they appear to be less likely to be infected with HIV and have even lower death rates than other groups – may be carriers of the disease, putting their older family members at risk in communities throughout The world where multi-generational families spread.
Using education and distance education resources to mitigate the loss of learning: Many countries have resorted to distance learning as a way to reduce lost time in schools (fully online in China, Italy, France, Germany, and Saudi Arabia; mobile phones or TV broadcasts in Vietnam, And Mongolia). In addition to infrastructure and communication, teachers and administrators’ knowledge of the necessary tools and processes are also key factors in providing distance learning (Singapore). Other countries send lessons to children in their homes as homework (Lebanon).
In Bulgaria, more than 800,000 accounts have been created for all teachers and parents, with publishers mobilized to make textbooks and educational materials available in digital content for grades 1 through 10, and two channels will broadcast educational programs on national television. As more countries close schools, more creativity will be needed. For example, adapting the platforms currently available for use on smartphones or agreeing with telecom operators to eliminate the cost of accessing educational materials on a Ministry of Education website or both can be part of a crisis mitigation effort.
As the emergency phase recedes, local communities can move to a “recovery” mode, as governments implement policies and measures to make up for lost time. Approaches may include adjustments to the calendar for the school year, giving priority to students in classes preparing for critical exams, and continuing with distance learning in parallel with schools. Countries that have demonstrated greater resilience to recurring crises, such as those in East Asia, have been able to benefit from previous lessons and respond quickly to new crises, such as the current one. It has been able to use the current momentum to re-prepare, invest in and strengthen systems in the future.
It is very important to work together based on the experience gained from previous outbreaks (SARS, Ebola, etc.) to support governments in understanding the options available. In this regard, the World Bank works with countries around the world in each of the three phases. Preparedness, adaptation and recovery. Education officials and policymakers can use this crisis as an opportunity to create new learning models that can reach everyone, prepare for emergencies, and make the education system more resilient to crises.