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COVID-19: Update on the country situation in our schools

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the lives of children and their families as schools health systems buckle, borders close, and schools and businesses shutter. Lockdown measures adopted to stem the spread of the virus have cut off millions of children from quality learning.

Here is an update on the country situation in our schools:


The reopening of schools in Cambodia will be delayed until year-end. The Education, Youth and Sport Minister Hang Chuon Naron said the government’s stand is to be careful as it did not want to risk the spread of Covid-19 in the country.


After two months of school closures for COVID-19 response, children in Lao PDR returned to schools in June with the ‘new normal’ setting with strict measures. School administrators must implement precautionary measures such as keeping their premises clean by cleaning classrooms and spraying disinfectant around their facilities to reduce the risk of infections. Administrative staff, teachers and students must wear face masks at all times at school, and parents must also wear masks while picking up their children. The schools should have soap, hand gel, and hand washbasins for students.


In May 2020, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi said the schools must reopen as soon as possible but with necessary measures. “Schools have to reopen. It won’t be easy if we wait to reopen schools only after the disease is controlled,” she quoted to officials. The recommended measures include social distancing in classrooms and wearing of face masks. Myanmar’s academic year ends in late February and schools are usually closed from March until a new term begins in the first week of June. Schools have reopened since late July.

South Africa

The Department of Basic Education published a directive outlining the return plan for students after a government-mandated break. Students returned to schools in a staggered return plan since end of July, with graduating classes given priority to ensure that they are prepared to take their final exams. Due to the closure, the current academic year will also be extended beyond the end of 2020.


All schools in Tanzania had reopened on June 29 after three months of closure. Tanzania the first country in East Africa to reopen schools with stringent measures to be followed.  The recommended measures include installing hand-washing facilities with running water, social distancing in classrooms and wearing of face masks.

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