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COVID-19: January lockdowns lead to new wave of school and university closures

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The introduction of lockdowns in January has had a dramatic impact on education across the world, with 31 countries having now closed their schools and universities at a national level, representing the highest number since September.

It is possible this number could increase further, as many countries, particularly in South America, are currently on a break but may not re-open afterwards.

Our research team continues to track developments and regularly publishes information updates on our blog.

A large proportion of the closures have occurred in Europe, including in the UK, Ireland, Germany, the Netherlands, and Romania.

A number of European nations have also restructured and rearranged their exams. For example, French Baccalauréat students will only sit final examinations in their two specialisation subjects, and première and terminale (penultimate and final years) exams have been cancelled. The Austrian government have also confirmed that 2021 Matura exams have been pushed back by two weeks to 20 May.

Several countries, however, are yet to make a final decision on summer exams, including Estonia, Denmark, Ireland, and Italy.

Outside of Europe, in India, the Central Board of Secondary Education has announced exams will go ahead in 2021 but have been postponed from March and April until May.

In Bangladesh it has been confirmed that the 2020 cohort of students will be awarded grades for the Higher School Certificate based on previous performance. The exams were initially postponed indefinitely but towards the end of the year it was decided to cancel them.

In addition to the updates above, we have published a special report: The Effects of COVID-19 on International Secondary Assessment [PDF]. The report looks at postponements and cancellations in selected key countries in more detail.

For more details country-by-country, and for the latest up-to-date information, visit our blog page Charting the impact of COVID-19.

We are gathering more information on each country and exam boards on an ongoing basis and will continue to do so in 2021. So, check our blog regularly, or follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn to be notified when we post new updates.

If you have any queries or would like to contribute information about a country, please contact us at [email protected]

19/01/2021 15:11:00