​​​​Dear National Coordinators,
Dear teachers and students,

washing-hands.PNGCovid-19 has taught us now more than ever about the importance of different health issues, including those concerning hygiene, mental and physical health, as well as the socialrelational aspects, and how it is relevant in educational contexts.  

The hygienic issue includes how to protect yourself but also how to take responsibility and not endanger loved ones, friends and the public at large. We learned that changing our routine would make a big difference, such as washing hands regularly, covering your mouth with elbow when coughing, wearing a mask and keeping a social distance.   

During the long confinement, we may have experienced mental stress, which can affect the way we think and act. This can have harmful consequences for ourselves, but also for the people around us. As we have also seen in our society, there has been an increase in bullying or harassment as well as a feeling loneliness and isolation. This experience has taught us that we are fragile and need to learn how to control such stress.

While social distancing is essential to ensure our physical health, we also need to take care of our menthal health through staying connected while physically apart.
Therefore, in this issue, with great collaboration and input from our colleagues in the Section for Health and Education we will share information, pedagogical advice and tools with you.  

Lastly, we are also happy to be able to share three animated videos to be fully disseminated among the ASPnet community.  I encourage you to share these tools widely at your schools as well with your community and friends.
Stay safe. Stay CONNECTed!
Julie Saito ASPnet International Coordinator

“The most vulnerable students are hit hardest”
Special Message from Chris Castle, Chief of the Section of Health and Education
Chris_Castle.PNG “The pandemic has devastated many families, with the rates of infection and losses of life still soaring in some parts of the world. There are also other, less visible consequences; for example the impacts on education, mental health and well-being.”    

Find the video message, text and biography here  
UNESCO’s activities on Health and Education
Animating sanitary tips for COVID-19 in schools and beyond

We are happy to share with you a series of animated short films and posters on COVID-19 sanitary tips addressed to school-aged children. 

UNESCO is supporting these products, produced by Films du Cygne, to help spread these important messages. 

The animations and posters are currently available in French and more languages are forthcoming. You can view the videos and other materi​als here​. 

Keeping students safe from school violence and bullying 

The COVID-19 health crisis has pushed some 1.3 billion children and young people around the world out of schools and universities, sending them home as part of measures to slow the pandemic. While these students may be safer from the virus at home, they are at increased risk of violence.  Increased internet use can put children at greater risk of online harm​s such as sexual exploitation and cyberbullying.

To help guide this work and to keep students safe during these unprecedented times, UNESCO and  partners have released a suite of documents as part of Safe to Learn, a five-year global campaign to end violence in schools. This includes a technical note on COVID-19 and its implications for protecting children online, guidance for education ministries as they support schools to provide safe online learning experiences, and a set of recommendations – for governments to help prevent and respond to violence against children in different learning environments, including at home.

Answers to all the questions you have about COVID-19

Can adolescents catch COVID-19? What should I do if someone in my family gets really ill? I feel anxious about COVID-19 and its impact on my life, what should I do? Is it safe to go back to school?

The World Health Organization, together with UNESCO, UNFPA, UNICEF, and the Adolescents and Youth Constituency of the Partnerships for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health, have documented all of your questions and answers about COVID-19 in this practical guide for children and adolescents.

Further information can be found in all UN languages in these links: English  -  French - Spanish  -  Arabic  Russian Chinese

Key area of work for UNESCO

School violence and bullying is a key area of work for UNESCO. There are significant negative effects from the violence, including on academic achievement, mental health, and quality of life in general. Children who are frequently bullied are nearly three times more likely to feel like an outsider at school and more than twice as likely to miss school as those who are not frequently bullied. They have worse educational outcomes than their peers and are also more likely to leave formal education after finishing secondary school. Read more in UNESCO's Behind the Numbers report. ​​

First International Day

On the first Thursday in November this year, UNESCO will recognize the first International Day against Violence and Bullying at School Including Cyberbullying School communities are encouraged to take part in the international day and can stay up to date with activities on the event webpage.  ---- ​Read the full article here​.

INTERVIEW: Violence against children and adolescents in Spain after lockdown
Director-of-help-lines.PNG Interview with Ms Diana Díaz Álvarez, Director of help-lines at the Assistance for Children and Adolescents at Risk (ANAR) Foundation.
The interview was conducted by Christopher Cornu​, Senior Project Officer , UNESCO Health and Education

Since 1970, the ANAR Foundation has been promoting the rights of children and adolescents in situations of risk and distress, both in Spain and in Latin America. It provides them with psychological and social support, and legal assistance through various communication channels. quote.PNG



Why Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) continues to be important during COVID-19

Capture.PNGTime for action on better social and emotional wellbeing and life skills for young people during COVID19 
28 May 2020 was International Menstrual Hygiene Day with the social media handles of #ItsTimeForAction, #MHDAY2020 and #PeriodsInPandemics. 

Pandemic or not, girls and women will continue to have periods. Menstrual health and hygiene are not only about menstrual products but also about emotional and mental wellbeing in relation to the menstrual cycle. Read the full article here.​


What else is happening in health and education?

  • Video on Learning in Lockdown: Staying home during the long COVID-19 confinement periods has been challenging for families. Parents are working, students are studying, everybody is trying to stay sane! UNESCO produced a short video with its top tips for learning in lockdown, available in English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Russian, Portuguese, Thai and Swahili.

  • Animations on Managing anxiety during COVID19: UNESCO Regional Office for Southern Africa has released a series of short animations for students, helping them to manage anxiety, keep up their studies, and stay safe during the COVID-19 outbreak, including "Top tips for reducing anxiety", "How to study during lockdown", and "Am I safe after lockdown?

  • Many of the health and protection risks that emerge during a global pandemic, school closures, and distancing measures are addressed in the UNESCO issues note on 'Health and Nutrition during Home Learning

  • The Webinar "Maintaining learner health and well-being during school closure and reopening" was held on 30 April, featuring video testimonies from students across the world about their time spent in lockdown. View the video recording and read more about the webinar. UNESCO's Assistant Director-General for Education, Stefania Giannini, talked further about the issue in an opinion piece

  • Keeping schools safe during school reopening: Safe water, sanitation and hygienic conditions are essential to protecting our health during the COVID-19 outbreak. The FRESH network have developed guidance for school heads to help them prepare for the safe reopening of schools.

  • The WHO rolled out the School toolkit for World No Tobacco Day on May 30. Read more about the campaign and download the school toolkit.

  • Information cards for teachers, parents and students, developed by UNESCO and UNAIDS share practical tips for living and studying in the time of COVID19, including information on hygiene, relationships, and leisure time. 

  • The "COVID-19 education, nutrition, health and well-being resource list" of UN and partner responses to the COVID-19 pandemic has been compiled by UNESCO in association with the FRESH network, and appears on UNESCO's HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse.
News on ASPnet 
On 5 June, Ms Julie Saito, the ASPnet International Coordinator, gave a keynote presentation during the #Decarbonize: #Decolonize 2020 Youth Action Webinar, organised by the Centre for Global Education (CGE) and TakingITGlobal. The webinar brought together ASPnet and non-ASPnet schools from four regions to discuss their actions to decarbonize and decolonize their schools and communities. 

Messages and Testimonies


As always, here are some messages of solidarity from students, teachers and national coordinators during this pandemic. Please click on the link below to watch and read inspiring messages of solidarity!

china-covid-19.PNGChina - Dingfang GUO and Zhen LIU: 

Watch the video

"How COVID-19 changed the lives of Ms Dingfang GUO and Zhen LIU, in China"

A student and teacher talk to UNESCO



Watch the video


Watch the video

View thes​e and many more testimonies on #LearningNeverStops

We encourage you to send us your messages of solidarity in words, pictures, videos and art works. 
Your experiences and innovative ways to learn, out of schools and within your families, can contribute to build and strengthen our network.

Please send to aspnetinaction@unesco.org and attach the consent form. 

The ASPnet Team

Julie Saito, Fouzia Belhami, Melanie Seto, Katja Anger, Simon Wanda, Helene Darne, Kangni Chen, Erik Eschweiler, Alba Moral Foster 

​Connect: https://aspnet.unesco.org                            Contact us: aspnetinaction@unesco.org