Kids around the world are going to school under very different circumstances during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many schools have reopened with varying degrees of mitigation depending on government guidance, while others haven’t reopened at all but instead implemented distance learning. Take a visual tour of what children of the world are dealing with during this unusual time.
Students and teachers wear protective face masks while social distancing at Karl-Rehbein High School in Hanau, Germany, on Aug. 17, as schools reopen after the summer holiday and the coronavirus lockdown end.
Elementary school students wearing face masks attend class on the first day of the new semester in Wuhan — the city where the coronavirus first emerged last year — in China’s central Hubei province on Sept. 1, as the city opened schools for the first time in seven months.
Children listen to the school director give a speech on the first day of the new school year in Warsaw, Poland, on Sept. 1.
Students take livestreamed classes while seated in socially distanced protective learning pods at STAR Eco Station Tutoring & Enrichment Center in Culver City, California, on Sept. 2. The center serves as a learning hub for students from various schools in the region, which remain closed amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
A student wearing a protective face mask stands on a social distance marker in a classroom at Takanedai Daisan Elementary School in Funabashi, east of Tokyo, Japan, on July 16. The school practices various methods of social distancing in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Students and teachers wearing protective masks attend class at a high school on the first day of the new school year in Nice, southern France, on Sept. 1. The new semester kicked off on Monday in France, where millions of students returned to the classroom amid safety concerns overshadowing the joy of “la rentrée.”
Kindergarten students at Wichuthit School in Bangkok, Thailand, eat their lunch during a rehearsal while social distancing on June 23, ahead of nationwide schools reopening.
Students wearing protective masks work at their desks in a seventh grade classroom at Logan Elementary School in Princeton, Illinois, on Tuesday, Sept. 1. The Illinois State Board of Education has “strongly encouraged” a return to full, in-person instruction in the fall, as long as regions in the state are in phase 4 of reopening.
A staff member at the Rosary Sisters School in Gaza City checks the temperature of returning students on Aug. 8, the first day of school, after local authorities eased some of the restrictions that were imposed in a bid to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Pupils wear protective masks as they take out school supplies from the lockers at the World International School of Torino in Turin, Italy on Sept. 1.
Pupils wearing protective masks sit in the courtyard at Françoise-Giroud Middle School in Vincennes, east of Paris, on Sept. 1, the first day of the school year. Schools across Europe reopened their doors to greet returning pupils nearly six months after the coronavirus outbreak forced them to close, despite rising infection rates across the continent.
A schoolchild and a teacher wear protective face masks in a classroom at a Flemish primary school in Brussels, Belgium, on May 15, as a small number of Belgian children head back to their schools with new rules and social distancing measures in place.
Students wearing protective face masks respect social distancing as they walk past taped-off lockers at College Rosa Parks school in Nantes, France, on May 20, as a small number of French schoolchildren head back to their schools with new rules and social distancing measures during the coronavirus pandemic.
Pupils wearing protective masks stand listening to a woman at Françoise-Giroud Middle School in Vincennes, east of Paris, on Sept. 1. Schools across Europe reopened their doors to greet returning pupils nearly six months after the coronavirus outbreak forced them to close, despite rising infection rates across the continent.
From left to right in the back: Teachers Amy Husk, Noemí Sánchez-Ortíz and Michelle Lovejoy welcome students back on the first day of school at Avon Elementary School in Avon, Colorado, amid the coronavirus pandemic on Aug. 25.
Children stand in a schoolyard next to a school employee wearing a protective mask to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in Saint Petersburg, Russia, on Sept. 1.
Students wearing protective face masks chat while social distancing in the courtyard of a Flemish secondary school in Brussels, Belgium, on May 15, as a small number of Belgian children head back to school with new rules and social distancing measures in place.
A student wearing a protective face mask uses hand sanitizer upon arrival at D. Pedro V High School in Lisbon, Portugal, on May 18, as 11th and 12th graders return to school under strict coronavirus measures.
Green dots in the schoolyard help students maintain social distancing in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu in Quebec, Canada, on May 11, as schools outside the greater Montreal region begin to reopen their doors amid the coronavirus disease outbreak.
Pupils stand in a hallway at the King Edward VI High School for Girls in Birmingham, England, as schools across the country reopen to students following the coronavirus lockdown.
Ixchel Hannia Luna Calonico is reflected on her computer screen as the 9-year-old attends school via the internet from her home in Mexico City on Aug. 24. Online classes and educational instruction broadcast on cable television channels and radio programming in indigenous languages will attempt to keep remote students from missing out.
Kyrgyz schoolchildren wearing protective masks participate in a lesson on the first day of the new school year in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, on Sept. 1. Only first graders in Kyrgyzstan will study at school, while the rest of the students will receive an online education at home.
Pupils wearing protective masks enter the cafeteria for lunch at Brequigny High School in Rennes, western France, on Sept. 1, the first day of the school year.
Pupils wearing protective masks sit in a classroom in a middle school in Bron, France, on Sept. 1, the first day of the school year.
Serbian schoolchildren and teachers wearing protective masks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus enter the school building on Sept. 1, the first day of the new school year in Belgrade, Serbia.
Students wearing face masks study in a classroom at a school in Istanbul, Turkey, on Sept. 2. The new school year in Turkey started with online education earlier this week, but that hardly addresses the growing concerns of teachers about the spread of COVID-19, they told Xinhua on Wednesday. Authorities are planning to shift to face-to-face instruction on Sept. 21 if the number of daily coronavirus cases starts to decrease.
Dorothe Bongaerts-Stubbe’s 6-year-old son, Karel, sits in class on his first week back to school since summer vacation ended in Leiden, Netherlands, on Sept. 2. As of mid-July, schools have been closed in some 160 countries, affecting more than 1 billion students. At least 40 million children have missed out on preschool.
According to the Dutch government, children aged 12 and under do not have to stay 1.5 meters away from other children, but all other hygiene rules apply to children. Teenagers ages 13 to 17 do not have to stay 1.5 meters apart. At secondary schools, this rule applies to all pupils, regardless of their age. At secondary vocational education and higher education institutions, all students must stay 1.5 meters apart regardless of their age.
Students attend a flag-raising ceremony held on campus at a middle school at the start of the new school year on Sept. 1 amid easing COVID-19 restrictions in Vientiane, Laos.
Female students make their way to class while social distancing on Sept. 1, as schools begin to reopen in Mogadishu, Somalia.
Pupils wash their hands at Outwood Academy Adwick in Doncaster, England, on Sept. 2 as schools nationwide reopen following the coronavirus lockdown.