Briefing Note: Safe Return to Learning
The impact of COVID-19 and recovery strategies
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a dire impact on children and all facets of their learning, health, protection and wellbeing. To identify the extent of the pandemic’s impact on children and what can be done to effectively respond, a baseline study was conducted at 120 primary schools (including religious schools – Madrasah) in four locations of two provinces: Makassar City and Bone District in South Sulawesi Province and Asmat and Nabire districts in Papua. Data were collected during September 2021 from children both in and out of school, parents, teachers and school principals. These data were enriched by consultations with district and provincial governments, village heads and community members. The research was undertaken as part of UNICEF’s implementation of the ‘Safe Return to Learning’ programme, a COVID-19 response partnership with the Government of Japan.
An end-line study was conducted in March 2022, which further analyses the different factors affecting children's learning, health and wellbeing, and assess the extent to which the ‘Safe Return to Learning’ programme has been successful in assisting children to recover from the impacts of COVID-19. The study particularly focuses on the areas of education, health, child protection, and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH).