Statement | Swift, coherent and proportionate measures are vital in dealing with the COVID-19 outbreak

published 6 March 2020 updated 10 March 2020

The world is facing an unprecedented health emergency. The COVID-19 outbreak has led to school closures in 13 countries around the globe, disrupting the education of 290.5 million students.

Educators and their unions are working to provide school communities with accurate and up-to-date information from the World Health Organisation on the best preventive measures that will keep the virus from spreading. Meanwhile, our colleagues in higher education and research are working tirelessly to find a vaccine for COVID-19.

We call upon governments to take concrete measures to ensure the health and safety of students and education workers.

Governments must assess the situation in their countries and respond in an effective and proportionate way in order to contain the outbreak. While school environments can be conducive to contagion and temporary shut downs of education facilities are necessary in some cases, we urge governments to take measures to minimise the impact of the outbreak on the quality of education provided to the millions of students living in affected areas.

David Edwards

Education International

General Secretary