: The epidemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) broke out in Wuhan, China, in December 2019 and rapidly spread across the world. In order to counter this epidemic, several countries put in place different restrictive measures, such as the school's closure and a total lockdown. However, as the knowledge on the disease progresses, clinical evidence showed that children mainly have asymptomatic or mild disease and it has been suggested that they are also less likely to spread the virus. Moreover, the lockdown and the school closure could have negative consequences on children, affecting their social life, their education and their mental health. As many countries have already entered or are planning a phase of gradual lifting of the containment measures of social distancing, it seems plausible that the re-opening of nursery schools and primary schools could be considered a policy to be implemented at an early stage of recovery efforts, putting in place measures to do it safely, such as the maintenance of social distance, the reorganisation of classes into smaller groups, the provision of adequate sanitization of spaces, furniture and toys, the prompt identification of cases in the school environment and their tracing. Therefore, policy makers have the task of balancing pros and cons of the school re-opening strategy, taking into account psychological, educational and social consequences for children and their families. Another issue to be considered is represented by socio-economic disparities and inequalities which could be amplified by school's closure.

COVID-19 and the re-opening of schools: a policy maker's dilemma

Fantini, Maria Pia;Reno, Chiara
;
2020-01-01

Abstract

: The epidemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) broke out in Wuhan, China, in December 2019 and rapidly spread across the world. In order to counter this epidemic, several countries put in place different restrictive measures, such as the school's closure and a total lockdown. However, as the knowledge on the disease progresses, clinical evidence showed that children mainly have asymptomatic or mild disease and it has been suggested that they are also less likely to spread the virus. Moreover, the lockdown and the school closure could have negative consequences on children, affecting their social life, their education and their mental health. As many countries have already entered or are planning a phase of gradual lifting of the containment measures of social distancing, it seems plausible that the re-opening of nursery schools and primary schools could be considered a policy to be implemented at an early stage of recovery efforts, putting in place measures to do it safely, such as the maintenance of social distance, the reorganisation of classes into smaller groups, the provision of adequate sanitization of spaces, furniture and toys, the prompt identification of cases in the school environment and their tracing. Therefore, policy makers have the task of balancing pros and cons of the school re-opening strategy, taking into account psychological, educational and social consequences for children and their families. Another issue to be considered is represented by socio-economic disparities and inequalities which could be amplified by school's closure.
2020
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11382/556372
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