Health and Healthcare Systems

COVID-19's staggering impact on global education

Empty desks are pictured in a deserted class in one of the schools, amid concerns over the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Amman, Jordan March 23, 2020. Picture taken March 23, 2020 Coronavirus china virus health healthcare who world health organization disease deaths pandemic epidemic worries concerns Health virus contagious contagion viruses diseases disease lab laboratory doctor health dr nurse medical medicine drugs vaccines vaccinations inoculations technology testing test medicinal biotechnology biotech biology chemistry physics microscope research influenza flu cold common cold bug risk symptomes respiratory china iran italy europe asia america south america north washing hands wash hands coughs sneezes spread spreading precaution precautions health warning covid 19 cov SARS 2019ncov wuhan sarscow wuhanpneumonia  pneumonia outbreak patients unhealthy fatality mortality elderly old elder age serious death deathly deadly

All over the world, students are absent from their classrooms. Image: REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed

Niall McCarthy
Data Journalist, Statista
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  • Over a billion students worldwide are unable to go to school or university, due to measures to stop the spread of COVID-19.
  • The pandemic is expected to have a huge impact on global education.

Close to a billion people are still locked down after the coronavirus outbreak brought life around the world to a virtual standstill. The pandemic is expected to have enormous economic consequences and it is also having a devastating impact on global education. According to the latest figures released by UNESCO, some 1.3 billion learners around the world were not able to attend school or university as of March 23, 2020.

Coronavirus china virus health healthcare who world health organization disease deaths pandemic epidemic worries concerns Health virus contagious contagion viruses diseases disease lab laboratory doctor health dr nurse medical medicine drugs vaccines vaccinations inoculations technology testing test medicinal biotechnology biotech biology chemistry physics microscope research influenza flu cold common cold bug risk symptomes respiratory china iran italy europe asia america south america north washing hands wash hands coughs sneezes spread spreading precaution precautions health warning covid 19 cov SARS 2019ncov wuhan sarscow wuhanpneumonia  pneumonia outbreak patients unhealthy fatality mortality elderly old elder age serious death deathly deadly
The impact COVID-19 has had on education around the world. Image: Statista

UNESCO's figures refer to learners enrolled at pre-primary, primary, lower-secondary, and upper-secondary levels of education as well as at tertiary level. 1,379,344,914 students or 80 percent of the world's learners are now being kept out of educational institutions by country-wide closures. Another 284 million learners are being affected in some way by closures at a localized level, such as those seen in U.S. states like California and Virginia. 138 governments have now ordered country-wide closures of their schools and universities.

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