Educational Guidelines & Resources

The COVID-19 risk control measures have led, in a relatively short time, to the closure of learning institutions around the globe and forced millions of students and teachers into remote-learning situations. Large-scale, national responses include urgent deployment of home schooling and distance learning through digital platforms. 

Timely access to information and evidence is critical for governments, education departments and learning institutions to make evidence informed decisions and minimise the immediate and long-term impact of the pandemic on education and learning. 

While we do not explicitly endorse the resources and approaches proposed, we have selected a list of educational applications, platforms and material from official government platforms and other reputable sources. We hope decision makers, practitioners, teachers, parents, students and other stakeholders, will find these resources useful.

You can retrieve, ask, give and exchange information and data, as we work collectively to make sure that learning, social care and development continue to take place.

See also our section to search and access free online courses

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BLACK BOARDPreparing to scale online teaching and learning during Coronavirus. Watch this webinar to hear suggested practices to prepare for teaching and learning continuity. This webinar us open for anyone involved in administering or delivering teaching and learning especially system administrators, e-learning technologists, IT managers, Heads of Teaching and Learning, faculty and academic staff.


CAMBRIDGE ASSESSMENT Tools to support remote teaching and learning. The focus should be on pedagogy and learning, and not technology. All the tools still require the skill, experience and expertise of a teacher. They may involve approaches and techniques that would not normally be used. The tools should be in line with any school eSafety policy.


CAMPUS TECHNOLOGY9 resources for when Coronavirus moves your course online. To assist instructors, modify their pedagogy and incorporate digital teaching tools, tips and best practices including on online teaching and instructional design.


CAMPUS TECHNOLOGYMoving to Digital Learning Fast: Where to start. Education experts offer advice on how to make the transition to online instruction.


EDUBLOGTeaching Online due to school closure. The guide provides insights into how educators around the world are approaching school closures. Thousands of teachers worldwide are currently sharing snippets of their experiences via social media or their blogs. Edublog has compiled, curated and built on some common themes and ideas to create an extensive guide.


FutureLearn – Explore the best ways to teach online with these free online courses for educators who need to connect remotely with their students.




GOV UK – COVID-19 guidance for education settings developed to assist schools and other educational settings in providing advice for pupils, students, staff and parents or carers.


LEARNING EQUALITYguidelines and references for using open-source learning platform, Kolibri. Kolibri is an ecosystem of interacting products, and at its core is the Kolibri Learning Platform, where students and educators login and directly use digital materials to support learning and teaching.


MICROSOFT AND GOOGLEMicrosoft and google technology support sessions for schools establishing distance learning. To assist schools who have any technology support questions, Microsoft and Google are holding online meetings to support schools establishing or offering distance learning for their students.

Schools can participate in Google Hangouts meeting drop in sessions at This location. Other useful Google links are: Teach from Home and the Learning Hub.


OLCto help institutions prepare for emergency situations such as a COVID-19 outbreak, the Online Learning Consortium (OLC) has put together a list of tools and advice for handling a quick shift to online courses.


UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO – Teaching within technology and inquiry: an open course for teachers. The course is designed with K-12 teachers in mind. Teacher candidates, higher education instructors, and other educators may also find it relevant. In six weeks, major themes and challenges of integrating inquiry and technology as a community of practitioners, are discussed.


UNIVERSITY WORLD NEWSHow to make the switch to online teaching more effective.


WORLD BANKWith schools closed, many countries turn to the radio, as was proven useful in the Ebola crisis. The toolkit, developed in 2005, explains how to use radio to teach and learn, and may be relevant for many countries in response to pandemic induced situations.


WORLD BANKA 12-page briefing note prepared to help orient policymakers to some general rules of thumb of potential relevance when very quickly exploring and rolling out the use of remote learning, distance education and online learning at scale (posted 16 March 2020).

For updated versions of this draft briefing note, supporting documentation, and other related documents, please visit the EdTech & COVID-19 resource on the World Bank’s education web site.



BRAC UNIVERSITYCoronavirus disease (COVID-19): Guidelines on Prevention and Preparedness (for students, faculty and staff) (posted 10 March 2020).


BUILDING STATE CAPABILITYGovernments are most important in times of public crisis, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Individuals look to their governments to empower or deploy the powers and potentialities of the collective. But many people tasked with leading public organizations in times of crises struggle to know if and how to rise to the occasion. This is a particular challenge in governments that have low capability or are trying to build capability. BSC’s new Public Leadership through Crisis blog series offers ideas for leaders questioning how they can help and what kind of leadership is required in crises.



The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control has published new guidance for COVID19 prevention in schools and educational settings.



People experiencing social disadvantage and marginalization are known to be disproportionately impacted by ill-health.



Children with a Learning Disability require a very concrete, literal and predictable world to feel secure. Some strategies can help do that.


JAMA NETWORKProactive versus reactive school closures (2007).

The paper analyses data and examines the role of non pharmaceuticals interventions such a proactive school closures in delaying temporal effects of a pandemic. It concludes that proactive school closing saved substantial numbers of lives. St. Louis closed the schools about a day in advance of the epidemic spiking, for 143 days. Pittsburgh closed 7 days after the peak and only for 53 days. The death rate for the epidemic in St. Louis was roughly one-third as high as in Pittsburgh.


MAKERERE UNIVERSITYMakerere University in Uganda has developed a dedicated website to provide Africa with facts and research-based information on COVID-19. Also, the Makerere University School of Public Health in collaboration with the Ministry of Health has designed and organised a 1-hour training/sensitisation on preparing the workplace for COVID-19.


OECDEducation responses to COVID-19

With the spread of the covid-19, countries are implementing emergency plans to slow down and limit the spread of the virus –and prepare for a possible longer-term disruption of school and university attendance.


Times Educational Supplement (TES) – Five well-being rules for teachers working from home


Times Educational SupplementFour lessons from a self-isolating teacher


Times Educational SupplementPlanning guide for school closures or partial closures – will happen in the future, and it is important to plan as early as possible. The guide indicates what needs to be considered including: basic checks before any closure, issues for boarding schools, issues for special schools, benefits and risks of free technology and connections between staff.


Times Educational Supplement5 lessons from a school in lockdown. St Louis School in Milan prepared well for being closed owing to Coronavirus, but principal Jennie Devine explains these five things still took her by surprise.


Times Educational SupplementCoronavirus in schools : what should teachers do? Unions and the Department for Education (UK) issued advice for teachers (11 March 2020).


Times Educational SupplementCoronavirus and schools: LIVE – A one-stop shop for teachers who want to know what impact the outbreak of the virus will have on their working lives.


UNICEFWhat parents should know: how to protect yourself and your children


THE UNIVERSITY OF THE WEST INDIESThe UWI COVID-19 Task Force aims to leverage the University’s knowledge and experts to assist the Caribbean in its readiness and response to the virus outbreak, mindful that the region’s best defence is a coordinated and collaborative approach.


WHO, IFRC and UNICEFKey Messages and Actions for COVID-19 Prevention and Control in Schools. Guidance to protect children and support safe school operations. Guidance includes practical actions and checklists for administrators, teachers, parents and children. It also advises national and local authorities on how to adapt and implement emergency plans for educational facilities (updated March 2020).




CDCthe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued interim guidance for higher education administrators and how to respond to COVID-19. It advises colleges and universities how to keep students, staff and faculty safe and provides information to academic experts who may be called upon by local health services for help. The guidance assists administrators in planning “for the continuity of teaching, learning and research” if COVID-19 shows up locally and aims to reduce the stigma attached to the illness for those who have been affected.


MISPMindfulness in schools project. At its most basic level, mindfulness helps train the attention to be more aware of what is actually happening, rather than worrying about what has happened or might happen. We learn to bring greater curiosity to whatever it is we experience. Jon Kabat-Zinn, the founding father of secular mindfulness, described this skill as ‘being alive and knowing it’.



This guide produced by UNICEF, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) for preventing and addressing social stigma associated with the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is intended to support governments, media and local organizations. It was last updated in March 2020.


UNICEF – COVID-19. Youth voices against stigma and discrimination.


WORLD HEALTH ORGANISATIONHelping children cope with stress during the 2019-nCoV outbreak.



THE I-MOVEMENTHome learning resources to help teachers and parents with home learning and for primary school aged children to stay focused, active and mentally healthy.


MINDYou might be worried about coronavirus (COVID-19) and how it could affect your life. This may include having to stay at home and avoid other people. You will find information about wellbeing.


NEW ZEALANDMinistry of Education Te Tāhuhu o te Mātauranga

COVID-19 & Wellbeing – useful guidance on wellbeing from reinforcing school values to remaining net safe.


UNITED KINGDOM – Department of Education

Covid-19 safeguarding in schools, colleges and other providers. Guidance for schools and colleges to support them keeping children safe, including online, during the pandemic.

UNITED KINGDOM – University of Oxford

COVID-19 presents a rapidly changing situation where different pressures, including changes to children and young people’s social lives, daily routines, and access to education as well as challenges associated with families spending extended periods at home, will arise for children, young people and their families over time.

UNITED KINGDOM – University of Manchester

An early draft of a study by researchers at Swansea University and The University of Manchester shows social distancing and isolation is having significant impacts on people’s mental health and emotional wellbeing.


COMMONWEALTH OF LEARNINGCOL has compiled a selection of resources and tools.


Coursera and EdXwith universities all over the world looking to quickly move face-to-face classes online, massive open online course companies Coursera and edX have stepped in to offer access to their vast portfolios of course content.

Coursera will provide the Coursera for Campus platform free to higher education institutions impacted by coronavirus. Universities can sign up to provide their enrolled students with access to more than 3,800 courses and 400 specializations from Coursera’s top university and industry partners. The access will last through the end of July 2020.


FLGIThe Flipped Learning Global Initiative (FLGI) has launched a free online course to help instructors and institutions that need to make a quick move to remote learning. The one-hour program,Rapid Transition to Online Learning(RTOL), bills itself as a quick-start guide to maintaining continuity of teaching and learning in a crisis.


IMPERIAL COLLEGEScience Matters: Let’s Talk about COVID-19. Imperial College and the Abdul Latif Jameel Institute for Disease Emergency Analytics (J-IDEA) launch a free course explaining  the science behind the response to the novel coronavirus disease (COVID19) outbreak.


KHAN ACADEMYDaily schedules for students ages 2-18 to keep them learning.


LEARN CLOUD by RUMIE – runs on-the-ground digital learning programs for underserved groups, even in poorly connected remote and rural areas. The system has offline functionality.


OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESSTo ensure that education and research can continue in the face of these challenging times, the Oxford University Press has made some of its learning resources freely accessible for an extended period. In addition, to assist researchers, medical professionals, policy makers, and others who are working to address the pandemic, it has opened up access to its relevant research and article, signed a Wellcome Trust statement pledging to make relevant research available for the duration of the outbreak, and joined efforts from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy to make research and data immediately accessible via PubMed Central and other public repositories.


OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESSResources for higher education instructors and students affected by COVID-19.


OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESSFree resources for higher education students in India.



Support on learning from home that refers to how schools maintain teaching and learning in the event of a prolonged school closure or student absence. The site addresses school planning, advice to parents and carers, the delivery of learning, as well as provides resources.



The COVID-19 Education Coalition is a diverse group of education organizations brought together by the ISTE/EdSurge team to curate, create and deliver high-quality tools, resources and support for educators and parents as they keep the learning going during extended school closures.



According to Article 12(1) of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), ‘States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health.’ With similar language, the right to health is recognized inter alia in Article 11 of the European Social Charter, in Article 16 of the African Charter of Human and Peoples’ Rights and in Article 10 of the Additional Protocol to the American Convention on Human Rights in the Area of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. A number of due diligence obligations can be derived from this legal framework.

Most notably, to comply with these provisions, the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) explains that States are obliged to establish ‘prevention and education programmes for behaviour-related health concerns’ (General Comment n° 14, § 16), which could reasonably include educational, professional and social activities which carry a greater risk of transmission of COVID-19.



Blackboard remote-teaching webinar series and advice on setting up assignments


Brown Universityinclusive Approaches to Support Student Assignments During Times of Disruption.


Edinburgh Napier series of resources that provide hints, tips and practical guidance on key aspects of learning and teaching practice.


Jisc ensuring continuity of learning during enforced absence. Practical tips to maintain teaching, learning and business operations during circumstances where staff or learners are unable to physically spend time on campus.


Harvard University – learn best practices, online pedagogy, and how to get support for teaching classes online.

HUIT: Using Zoom to teach online class sessions 

Teach Remotely at Harvard


London School of Economics (LSE) – Assessment tasks, and time limits, can be devised to serve course requirements.


Manchester Metropolitan Universityassessment design including take-home assessments. A take-home examination is a time-constrained assessment task, presented to students at some time in advance of the assessment and completed at home.


Moodle setting up assignments


National Forum for Ireland: ten points to consider in choosing alternative assessment methods in the online environment


The Chronicle of Higher EducationMoving online. This special collection includes advice guides and opinion pieces on online learning, to help faculty and staff members make the adjustment.




Support for teachers and advice for parents and carers to keep students learning outside of the classroom.



This site offers a collection of resources to help support learning while families are home due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the suspension of in-class instruction. It will be updated frequently as we identify more resources and new information to share. We hope you find the site useful and appreciate your support as we work together.



Distance learning content provided by the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development, including an e-library.


Educational platform developed by Maldives government providing online learning material for students and supports teachers.



Free online education links for students who are stuck at home as schools are closed because of COVID-19.

Learning and Teaching on COVID-19. Towards human-centered and meaningful online teaching. Guidelines for teachers.



To support distance learning, two online spaces went live recently: Learning from Home and Ki te Ao Mārama. These websites have resources for parents and whānau, teachers and leaders spanning early learning through to senior secondary, and new material will be added to these over the coming weeks.



Online platform with all courses as per the national curriculum for pre-primary, primary and secondary schools.



The Singapore Student Learning Space is a platform that supports Teaching and Learning in all schools through the use of technology.



  1. Department of Basic Education (DBE) website at provide links for access to online content resources for parents, caregivers and learners to support learning at home on its landing page. These include:
  • Links to study material, multimedia and reading material;
  • Links to “Tips for Parents” such as extending learning at home, homework to improve learning outcomes, cooperative learning and learner wellbeing;
  • Links Provincial Curriculum Portals, COVID-19 Online Resource and News Portal, National Assessments (Grade 1-9), SABC Education Virtual Academy and Previous examination papers (Grade 10-12): and
  • Links to information about broadcast support on the DBE TV Channel 122 OVHD, Lockdown Digital School, Mindset TV on DStv, Radio Stations: KZN and Mpumalanga Radio Stations.

DBE and Bhelela partnership online portal at provide access to state-owned content resources such as electronic e-textbooks, teacher guides, study guides, e-workbooks in PDF, ePub and HTML formats as well as other Open Education Resources (OER) such as PhET simulations, Apps, storybooks, encyclopaedia, Khan Academy videos. The link was sent to all HEDCOM ICT Subcommittee members for distribution to stakeholders via their provincial online and offline platforms.

DBE and 2Enable partnership online platform at provide learners with free access to the 2Enable mobile learning platform. 2Enable provided support through CAPS-aligned text-based and video content, with assessment questions. Also available on the platform are readers for primary school learners. 2Enable is downloadable from the Google play store, Apple store or Microsoft store. The subjects offered included:

    • Grade 10 – 12 Accounting, Business Studies, Economics, Dance Studies, English Home Language, Geography, Life Sciences, Visual Arts and Physical Sciences;
    • Grade 7 – 9 Creative Arts, Economic Management Sciences and Natural Sciences;
    • Grade 4 – 12 English First Additional Language;
    • Grade 8 – 12 Life Orientation and Maths Literacy; and
    • Grade 1 – 12 Mathematics.



Kolibri is a free-of-charge, and easy to use digital learning platform; with education content approved by the National Curriculum Development Centre (NCDC). It is aimed at empowering students with skills required to survive in this era of information technology.

The e-Learning platform’s content covers science and mathematics for O-Level students. Each topic is presented with illustrations; some of which are in video format. Kolibri will ensure that the students are occupied during the Covid-19 quarantine period until schools are re-opened.



For more information or to share relevant resources and guidelines please contact:

Social Policy Development Team

Economic, Youth and Sustainable Development Directorate Commonwealth Secretariat