Education and COVID-19 (News and Research 191)

Montenegro: How a higher education and innovation project is helping COVID-19 (coronavirus) response | Roberta Malee Bassett | Danica Ramljak | On March 17, Montenegro became the last European country to record a positive COVID-19 test. Since then, the virus has been identified in 201 patients (as of April 4), resulting in two deaths. Over 6,000 citizens are in isolation. As is true for many developing countries, Montenegro is facing massive challenges in responding effectively and rapidly to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic, including in gaining access to the necessary diagnostic equipment and expertise. But there is some good news… 


Through the HERIC project, the government is demonstrating its commitment to strengthening the quality and relevance of higher education and research. The Ministry of Education has focused on reforming the country’s higher education finance and quality assurance systems, while the Ministry of Science has worked to strengthen innovation, research, and development capabilities. All these measures are vital for the country’s economic development and job creation. Apart from creating a more robust environment for the academic and scientific community, the project has also helped provide access to state-of-the-art training for the country’s young researchers. And that investment is bringing results today, in the rapid deployment of local scientists and technology in the fight against COVID-19. The Minister of Science, Sanja Damjanovic, notes: “Two out of eight HERIC project-funded academic centers are now directly contributing to the fight against the COVID-19 in Montenegro.” She adds, “All this is yet another great lesson to emphasize the importance of investing in science and research.”


Spring 2020 issue of the ECA Economic Update: Fighting COVID-19. In February 2020, the coronavirus outbreak interrupted the recovery that was underway in the Europe and Central Asia region earlier in the year. Given the rapidly evolving situation, this update summarizes the recent developments and growth outlook for the region under different scenarios regarding the outbreak. Although the magnitudes are uncertain, the region is bracing for a recession and the pandemic is derailing the near-term outlook by interrupting daily activity, putting further downward pressure on commodity prices, disrupting tightly linked global and regional supply chains, reducing travel and tourist arrivals, and decreasing demand for exports. There are trade-offs between the health benefits of policies to slow down the spread of the disease and the economic costs of these actions. During these difficult times, it is important for policy makers to act decisively to save lives and invest in their public health systems; but also minimize the economic cost by strengthening the safety net for the most vulnerable; supporting the private sector through short-term credit, tax breaks, or subsidies; and being prepared to lower interest rates and inject liquidity to restore financial stability and boost confidence.


Schools’ readiness for digital learning in the eyes of principals. An analysis from PISA 2018 and its implications for the COVID19 (Coronavirus) crisis response

World Bank and UNICEF Support Kazakhstan’s Distance Learning Approach | Google translated World Bank Country Manager in Kazakhstan Jean-Francois Marteau and UNICEF Representative Arthur van Dizin commented on the selected mechanisms for organizing distance learning in Kazakhstan, reports.

OECD praises Georgian distant education system amid coronavirus outbreak |
The OECD has praised the Georgian distant education system implemented a month ago as one of the best in the world amid the coronavirus outbreak. The OECD highlighted the importance of the project TV School to which all students have access because it does not make use of the internet.  In the framework of the project, the Georgian Public Broadcaster (GPB) broadcasts live lessons for school children starting March 30.

Turkey 2nd country with nationwide remote education after China, Education Minister says | While over 1.5 billion students worldwide are deprived of face-to-face education due to coronavirus lockdowns, Turkey has become the second country after China to introduce nationwide distance education.

The Difference Between Emergency Remote Teaching and Online Learning | Well-planned online learning experiences are meaningfully different from courses offered online in response to a crisis or disaster. Colleges and universities working to maintain instruction during the COVID-19 pandemic should understand those differences when evaluating this emergency remote teaching.

As part of the Education GP’s efforts to communicate about the devastating impact of  the COVID pandemic on education systems, and the World Bank’s response, yesterday Jaime participated in a short live video interview streamed on WB corporate channels. You can watch the interview here and here. Find out more about the coronavirus and education here, Information on remote learning and Education Systems’ Response brief.

Related Blogs:

April 2: How ministries of education work with mobile operators, telecom providers, ISPs and others to increase access to digital resources during COVID19-driven school closures (Coronavirus)

April 1: High-stakes school exams during COVID-19 (Coronavirus): What is the best approach?

March 31: How countries across Latin America use technology during COVID19-driven school closures

March 30: Educational challenges and opportunities of the COVID-19 pandemic

March 23: Can technology help mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on education systems in Europe and Central Asia?

March 18: Managing the impact of COVID-19 on education systems around the world: How countries are preparing, coping, and planning for recovery


Coronavirus for kids without internet: Quarantined worksheets, learning in parking lots

Most student loan payments are suspended

‘HECS’-style loans backed for coronavirus relief

Impact of the 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic on education

Adverse consequences of school closures 

School closures are starting, and they’ll have far-reaching economic impacts

Macroeconomic Policy in the Time of COVID-19: A Primer for Developing Countries

Map on innovations related to COVID-19:

From the archives: Some Economics of Flu Pandemics by Gary Becker in 2009: Every century or so, a major flu pandemic (an epidemic with a global impact) occurs. The last one, the Great Pandemic of 1918-19, infected many hundreds of millions of people, and killed about 50-100 million men and women worldwide. The Asian flu of 1957 is estimated to have killed 2 million people, and the pandemic of 1968 killed over 1 million persons…This is why it would be desirable to greatly increase the stockpile of drugs and vaccines even if the probability of another pandemic were low, and its nature not known.


Presentation on Returns to Education in Russian Federation now included in the April Conference on Economic and Social Development program (please check Session V-09. “Russian Education in Terms of Final Results”) and it is also published on HSE YouTube Channel | Melianova, Parandekar, Volgin – Returns to Education in the Russian Federation (abstractvideo version).

Does vocational education pay off in China? Instrumental-variable quantile-regression evidence | …vocational education provides a wage premium vis-`a-vis academic education of over 30% but which applies only for individuals at the middle of the conditional wage distribution…