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Dear colleagues,

We hope that you and your loved ones are doing well and keeping safe.

The latest developments of the COVID-19 pandemic are affecting most areas of our lives all around the world. This also includes extended education which, in many countries, cannot take place right now due to protective measures such as closures of schools and youth centers. This is very challenging for children, parents and all facilitators in the extended education sector, as well as researchers in the field.

We strongly hope that all measures taken will lead to a containment of the virus and that the educational sector will soon again be able to support youth around the world.

This is why we wrote a statement for our network in regard to the pandemic and extended education. In our recent webinar, panelists and participants voiced the serious concern that extended education  is being pushed aside and forgotton in the midst of  the many other issues of virtual teaching and learning. We hope that you wil be able to use this statement with your national constituencies in order to bring attention to the great needs that young people have in out-of-school time. There is a need for extended education, especially in these difficult times. Please distribute our statement and feel free to contact us with any questions.

Warm wishes during a difficult time,

Gil Noam and Marianne Schüpbach
The Chairs of the WERA-IRN Extended Education

Statement of the WERA-IRN Extended Education Concerning the Situation of Children and Youth Worldwide During the COVID-19 Crisis (PDF)

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WERA is an association of major national, regional, and specialty education research associations, mainly dedicated to developing networks. The purpose of International Research Networks (IRNs) is to advance education research worldwide on specific scholarly topics. The WERA-IRN EXTENDED EDUCATION is a collaborative group of scholars working on this research topic.


From childhood to adolescence, young people enroll in various public or private forms of educational arrangements outside regular school time. They participate in school- or community-based programs, forms of private tutoring or after-school activities like art courses as well as extracurricular activities at all-day schools.

In learning societies today, there has been an increase in out-of-school and extracurricular learning in childhood and in adolescence compared to the past. The last 10 to 20 years have seen numerous efforts to expand institutional learning and care opportunities to supplement (traditional) schooling in almost every modern country in Europe, North and South America, Asia, and Australia.

In all these continents and countries, these activities and programs focus on the social, emotional, and/or academic development of children and young people. They are educationally structured to make it easier for the participants to learn specific contents.


Extended education programs have many common institutional features as well as several similar education-related pedagogical problems, regardless of whether they are extracurricular activities at German all-day schools, summer camps in the United States, or activities at Swedish leisure-time centers. Thus, international research focuses on similar problems and similar features of these educational settings.

The aim of the WERA-IRN EXTENDED EDUCATION is to bring together different research perspectives, to synthesize the state of research worldwide in this new field of extended education, and to enhance international research collaboration.

The WERA-IRN EXTENDED EDUCATION is organized by its Chairs, Prof. Dr. Marianne Schüpbach, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany, and Prof. Dr. Gil Noam, Harvard University, USA.