Third High-level Meeting on Schooling during the COVID-19 Pandemic


2 July 2021, 12:00—16:00 Central European Summer Time, virtual

WHO/Europe, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) are hosting the Third High-level Meeting on Schooling during the COVID-19 Pandemic. During the event, the WHO European Technical Advisory Group (TAG) on schooling during the COVID-19 pandemic will share updated recommendations with the best available evidence and expert advice on safe schooling during the pandemic.

The event will take place virtually and will be streamed live here.

Schooling and COVID-19

COVID-19 has disrupted schooling for millions of children and young people during the school year 2020–2021. After reopening schools in the autumn of 2020, rising infection rates in winter led to more stringent measures, including, in some areas, the closure of schools.

These measures have serious effects on the education, development, and social and mental well-being of children and adolescents – both in the short- and long-term. Children and adolescents in the WHO European Region have missed on average more than 30 weeks of schooling due to school closures.

This third high-level meeting follows previous meetings held in August and December 2020, and will present an updated version of the TAG recommendations, including updates on how to keep schools open, testing strategies in school settings, risk-mitigation measures and infection control, and vaccination strategies, among others.

In addition to sharing the updated recommendations, the meeting is meant to support countries in planning measures over the summer months, so as to minimize school disruptions in the academic year 2021–2022.


  • Opening session (12:00–13:30)
    • ­WHO Regional Director for Europe, Dr Hans Henri P. Kluge
    • ­UNICEF Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia, Ms Afshan Khan
      ­Director of the UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education, Mr Zhan Tao
    • ­Expert presentations
    • ­Results from the WHO/Europe survey “How did schooling during the pandemic affect you?”
    • ­Results from the UNESCO Chair Global Health and Education international survey: maximising resilience in every school
    • ­Presentation of TAG recommendations
  • Case studies from countries (13:30–14:30)
  • Break (14:30—14:45)
  • Discussion of TAG recommendations (14:45—15:15)
  • Long-term impact of COVID-19 (15:15—15:25)
  • Statements from partner organizations (15:25—15:55)