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World school reopening status

School reopening status across the world

January 13, 2021

Schools in countries across the world had been shut and in-person learning remained suspended since March to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Educators and policy-makers around the world had been struggling to find solutions to the problems faced by school-going children because of the continuous closure. Different agencies like the UNICEF devised a framework for schools to ensure the safe return of students on the campuses and resuming face-to-face teaching.

After the initial closure of three months, schools in some countries started reopening partially from May 2020. Schools in several countries, like France, Germany and Italy gradually started in-person teaching-learning by September.  

A number of countries that faced the second wave closed the campuses in November and students were taught only through online mode.

In many countries where schools had reopened and were not facing the second wave too intensified the restrictions on entry and leaving of campuses by students and for maintaining social distancing.

Schools are gradually reopening from January in many countries after Christmas break. Many have prioritized students appearing in the board exams and those in the lower grades.

Here’s the status of schools reopening across the world.

United States

As of December 15, 2020, the school reopening status in the United States include:

Partially reopened: California, Arkansas, Florida, Iowa, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Texas, West Virginia

Yet to reopen: New York, Ohio, Alaska, Alabama, Arizona, Connecticut, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Illinois, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, Colorado


With most Brazilian schools remaining closed during the COVID-19 pandemic last year, state governors are preparing to reopen them in February when the next school year begins. By October 2020, 11 of Brazil’s 26 states had allowed public schools to reopen either partially or fully. Private schools had been reopened in 16 Brazilian states. Despite state permission, the final decision to reopen schools rests with municipalities. The return to school has also been on a voluntary basis, with many parents electing not to send their children into classrooms for fear of their contracting the deadly virus.


The Ministry of Education (MOE) has announced the reopening of kindergartens and primary schools in a staggered manner to ensure the effective roll-out of Covid-19 safe-management measures.

As per a statement issued by the MOE on December 18, Kindergarten 1 and Primary 1 pupils have to report to school from January 4. While students from Kindergarten 2 and Primary 2 to 6 were to join schools from Jan 5. 

Sri Lanka

Schools have reopened partially in Sri Lanka after being closed for nearly three months. But the government decided not to reopen schools in the capital Colombo and its suburbs as the majority of recent COVID-19 cases are reported from those areas.

But the government decided not to reopen schools in the capital, Colombo, and suburbs because the majority of new cases have been reported from those areas. Schools in other parts of the island nation reopened under strict health guidelines such as wearing facemasks, bringing home-cooked food, washing hands regularly and maintaining social distancing.


Chinese health authorities say scores more people have tested positive for coronavirus in Hebei province bordering on the capital Beijing. Authorities have called on citizens not to travel, ordered schools closed a week early and conducted testing on a massive scale


In South Korea, physical classes began on May 20, 2020. In-person classes begin in phases. Students attend school on alternate days to limit contact. However, on August 25, the education ministry ordered schools in the Seoul metropolitan area to return to online learning until Sept. 11. On Sept 4, the education ministry extends tightened social-distancing measures and orders schools in the Seoul metropolitan area to continue online learning at least through September 2020.


 After Christmas students returned to the campuses in a staggered fashion from the first week of January. Secondary school students in the exam years returned to the campuses at the start of the term after Christmas while others began the term with online teaching. Face- to- face learning planned for everyone from January 11. Normal face-to-face teaching planned for the primary students from the start of the term. 


Students had been returning to schools for in-person classes since August. Students in grades I to III are to return to class room part-time from January 18 in Berlin. Pupils from Grade IV to VI will partially return for the in-person classes from January 25. Students are expected to be given alternating lessons at school from February 8.


 Private schools in Dubai opened as usual on January. Parents will have the choice of face-to face or online learning.  In Abu Dhabi remote learning has been planned for all schools for the first two weeks of the new term that started on January 3. The Sharjah Private Education Authority has given students three options. They can study from home, can attend school or they can avail of combination of online and classroom teaching classes.


 With the surge in number of Coronavirus cases, education minister Koichi Hagiuda has said that the government will not close all the schools but it will be left to the local authorities to decide, as of reports on January 5. 


 All schools across the country will reopen in phases from January 18 after remaining closed for nearly two months due to the second wave of Coronavirus, according to an announcement made by the government on January 4. Schools across the country had closed for in-person teaching on November 26.


Several provinces including Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec shifted to online teachings for at least one week after the winter break. In-person classes delayed till January 11 for elementary students and till January 25 for secondary students in Ontario


 According to decision taken by government in December a quarter of Italian high school will continue to study online also in January and only 75 per cent of them will be able to go back to class starting on January 7. Classes had first resumed in mid-September after six months closure. Middle and high schools switched to distance learning again in October when the curve in contagion spiked. )


Moscow would extend the school holiday by one week until January 17 in hopes of stabilizing the situation regarding new coronavirus infections and avoid new Covid-19 related restrictions, the Russian capital’s mayor had said on December 29, according to a report of Reuters. Barring schools in Moscow and some other cities around it where, in-person teaching had not been suspended in schools in Russia. 


January 4 marked the return to schools in France after Christmas. Since schools reopened in September, the government had reiterated that keeping children in school would be safe, both for the children and their families. (Source: The Local) 


Most pupils went back to school on January 4 when the institutions reopened after Christmas. In some districts like in Zurich, the return of younger pupils has been delayed by a few weeks. (Source link:–school-closures–could-be-an-option-/46259914 )


 After learning from home for months, students of grades IX to XII across the country returned to schools in September. According to a notification of the ministry of education department of school education on October 23, classes pre-primary to III are supposed to report to school by February 15 and classes IV to VIII will report on February 3.      


Schools closed from November 9 more than a month earlier than the normal  December end term.  The government has announced that schools will resume face-to-face instruction from January 20.


Secondary schools were kept closed in phases but pre-primary and primary schools were open with safety measures throughout the pandemic.


Schools of all levels from KG to XII had faced closures in phases in every state and territory. But the extent of closure varied across jurisdictions.

New Zealand

Schools resumed classes in mid-May.

Also read:

School reopening status across states

Most parents not in favour of school reopening

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