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HBSC members support WHO with recommendations on schooling during COVID-19

The World Health Organisation Regional Office for Europe has published a new set of recommendations on schooling during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Sars-CoV-2 has taken a heavy toll on children and adolescents, not exclusively because of the infection itself but also because of the infection control measures affecting their education, health and well-being. Since March 2020, schools in Europe have been partially or totally closed for extended periods in many countries.

To review the evidence and build an understanding of the effectiveness and adverse effects of infection prevention control and other measures implemented in school settings, the WHO Regional Office for Europe established a European regional Technical Advisory Group (TAG) on schooling during the COVID-19 pandemic. The TAG is Chaired by Antony Morgan from HBSC Spain and includes the following HBSC network members:

  • Colette Kelly - Ireland

  • Leena Paakkari - Finland

  • Ivana Pavic Simetin - Croatia

  • Sergey Sargsyan - Armenia

The purpose of the TAG is to ensure that children’s lives and education are as unaffected and uninterrupted as possible, while ensuring the safety of children, educators and other school staff and keeping COVID-19 transmission under control. The TAG aims to identify findings from the emerging evidence to inform policy decisions regarding education, social, development and health outcomes for children and adolescents.

These latest recommendations represent the work of the TAG between October 2020 and March 2021. They include an assessment of 8 key issues around schooling during the pandemic and represent the best available evidence and expert advice on safe schooling. The key issues covered are:

  1. Keeping schools open is a key objective

  2. Testing strategy in the school setting

  3. Effectiveness of applied risk-mitigation measures on infection control

  4. Educational outcomes, mental and social well-being

  5. Children in vulnerable situations

  6. Changes in the school environment that are likely to be of overall benefit to infection control and child health

  7. Children’s and adolescents’ involvement in decisionmaking

  8. Vaccination strategies with the purpose of maintaining education as a societal good

see here for further details

item 6651
[23-04-2021 to 21-09-2022]


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