COVID-19 and School Closures

One year of education disruption

March 2, 2021

We are facing a COVID-19 education crisis. As this report finds, schools for more than 168 million children globally have been closed for almost a full year. With every day that goes by, these children will fall further behind and the most vulnerable will pay the heaviest price.

The unique findings presented in this report provide an overview of school closures from March 11, 2020 to February 2, 2021 in more than 200 countries and territories, relying primarily on the data from the UNESCO tracker of school closures and UIS database on school enrolment.

As we enter the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic, no effort should be spared to keep schools open or prioritize them in reopening plans. Children cannot afford another year of school closures.

*The report uses UNESCO’s definition of school closures. Schools are considered ‘fully closed’ when the closures affect most or all of the schoolchildren enrolled at pre-primary, primary, lower and upper secondary levels. ‘Partial closures’ refer to situations in which schools are either closed in some of a country’s administrative units, for some grade levels, or are operating with limited capacity. ‘Fully open’ means that classes are held in-person for all schoolchildren and at all grade levels.


Download the report

Download the data