Think-tank launches report comparing post-COVID return-to-school measures taken throughout Asia Pacific

With return-to-school protocols being hotly debated here in B.C., the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada has launched a new report looking at how other countries in the region are handling the dilemma.

Dubbed “Back to School,” the storymap-based dataset was launched this week to start gathering and presenting the measures taken in places like China, Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, Australia and New Zealand.

While the data and precedents are “only now emerging” and still being gathered, officials from the foundation said it is important to have this information up for public consumption as soon as possible, given the current debate in Canada and B.C.

“… Many Asia Pacific school systems have a head start on Canada, having re-opened their schools weeks or even months ago,” the report said. “APF Canada’s interactive, geo-enabled overview of 15 education jurisdictions… provides a glimpse of what we might expect here in Canada as parents, teachers, school staff, and, of course, students adjust to back-to-school life in the ‘new normal.’”

The dataset will focus on three aspects of school reopening: How students are receiving their education (in-person, online or a mix), whether or not staggering/bubbles/cohorts are used to limit in-person contact, and each country’s stance on mask-wearing in schools.

The data that’s currently available can be found at https://www.asiapacific.ca/mapping-school-reopenings-in-asia.