As the government opts to keep schools open, at least for now, many teachers will be wondering how the UK's policy differs from other nations hit by the coronavirus outbreak.
The majority of countries, including Italy and Japan, have decided to shut all schools; some have restricted closures to certain regions, such as the US; and others, like the UK, are continuing as normal – for the time being.
Coronavirus: ‘Close schools now,’ demands NEU
To help keep track of the situation, Tes has compiled a list of countries that have decided to close all schools, and those that have decided to take a different approach, using the latest information from Unesco.
This list includes only countries for which Unesco has published data on school closures.
Countries that have closed ALL schools nationwide
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Burkina Faso
- Cayman Islands*
- China* (including Hong Kong and Macau)
- Costa Rica
- Côte d'Ivoire
- Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea)
- El Salvador
- Equatorial Guinea
- North Macedonia
- Republic of Korea* (South Korea)
- Republic of Moldova
- Saint Lucia
- Saudi Arabia
- South Africa*
- Sri Lanka
- Syrian Arab Republic
- Trinidad and Tobago
- United Arab Emirates
(*) From the Unesco website:
Austria, Germany, Malaysia, Mexico, South Africa, Thailand, Yemen and Zambia: announced school closures which will take effect in the next days.
Bolivia, Cayman Islands, Equatorial Guinea, Venezuela: data on enrolment in tertiary education programmes is not available.
China: schools have started opening, but the majority remain closed.
Honduras: while all schools are closed, universities have the choice to remain open or not.
Iceland: primary schools can remain open if classes of under 20 children can be assured.
Japan: universities currently on school spring break, and hence closures not related to the coronavirus.
Republic of Korea: universities have postponed the beginning of the academic year by two weeks to 16 March. While classes are suspended, the campuses remain open.
Romania: most universities remain open.
Countries that have NOT closed schools nationwide*
- Russian Federation
- United Kingdom
*Schools may be closed on a localised basis.