One billion learners at home across the world due to Covid-19

Tuesday July 07 2020

Students going home after schools were closed following the Covid-19 outbreak. More than one billion learners have been affected as schools around the world remain closed. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP


The announcement by Education CS George Magoha that schools will remain closed for the rest of the year might have made many Kenyans to ponder its implications, but the country is not alone in taking such a drastic measure.

More than one billion learners have been affected as schools around the world remain closed.

In Kenya, the 2020 academic calendar will be considered lost due to the Covid-19 pandemic and learners will be hopeful that the infections curve flattens so that they may resume classes in January next year.

According to Unesco, there are countrywide closure of schools in 110 countries which translates to 61 per cent of learners being kept away from school.


In Africa, only Botswana and Niger schools are fully open while some countries have partially opened their learning institutions. These include Tanzania, South Africa, Ghana, Namibia, Zambia, Mali, Cote d’Ivoire, Senegal, Liberia and Madagascar.


Total closure of schools in other African has affected learners in Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Egypt, Algeria, Sudan, Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia and Uganda, among others.

In China, where the coronavirus originated, there has been localised reopening of schools as the country has made tremendous progress to keep the virus at bay by adopting stringent measures to curb its spread. The reopening of schools in China has been phased and depends on the infection rates in its provinces.


South Africa in June adopted a phased reopening of schools but has faced challenges as the confirmed Covid-19 cases keep on rising.

In the UK, schools are expected to resume classes in September. Although the infections rates have been dropping, the numbers are still high compared to Kenya’s.

Italian premier Giuseppe Conte has urged caution in a proposed plan to reopen schools in September. Italy is one of the countries that has suffered the worst of the pandemic.