As of March 23, 2020, over 1.3 billion learners were out of school due to closures in response to COVID-19. According to United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) monitoring, over 100 countries have implemented nationwide closures, impacting over half of the world’s student’s population.
School closures impact not only students, teachers, and families, but have far-reaching economic and societal consequences. School closures in response to COVID-19 has exposed social and economic issues, including student debt, digital learning, food insecurity, and homelessness, as well as access to childcare, health care, housing, internet, and disability services.
On January 26, China instituted measures to contain the COVID-19 outbreak, which included extending the Spring Festival holiday to contain the outbreak. Universities and schools around the country closed.