COVID-19 and School Children

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How Reopening Schools Helps Children’s Wellbeing

Image of Children in School
Image credit: CDC via Unsplash

In many parts of the world schools are reopening and a new school year is about to begin, albeit amidst new variants and a wide array of mitigation measures to keep the virus from spreading. Several months ago, we held a webinar that highlighted the impact of school closures on children in Eastern and Central Africa. By now, many countries have made the decision to reopen schools as vaccines rollout is underway and teachers are slated to be among those who are vaccinated first.

This webinar is an important reminder of the conversations that led to the decision to reopen schools.

The prolonged period of school closure had a multi-faceted impact on children’s lives depriving them of access to education, meals, safe spaces, and social interactions with friends. As countries were assessing the situation to determine the timing of school opening, this webinar provided key facts and considerations that are must-know for journalists to report about this topic.


Dr. Deborah Barasa, Infection Prevention and Control Expert with the World Health Organization.

Abhiyan Jung Rana, Regional Education Adviser for Eastern and Southern Africa for UNICEF

Ida Jooste, Global Health Advisor at Internews

Other Useful Resources

In a special Daily Maverick live journalism webinar held in August 2021, Maverick Citizen Editor Mark Heywood, Professor Salim Abdool-Karim and Alex White, a young reporter at award-winning Rx Radio, held an intergenerational dialogue on questions asked by children and the importance of hearing children’s voices on the COVID-19 pandemic and behavior change expectations among children. You can watch a recording of this webinar below or read a short article about it here.

Another useful conversation on the impact of COVID-19 as schools reopen amidst the Delta variant in the United States was aired on August 9, 2021 on The Daily podcast hosted by Michael Barbaro of The New York Times.