Flattening the Curve in Education? Learning in a post-truth society. And distance learning during the lockdown

Flattening the Curve in Education? Learning in a post-truth society. And distance learning during the lockdown (News and Research 192)

We should avoid flattening the curve in education – Possible scenarios for learning loss during the school lockdownsS.A. Iqbal, J.P. Azevedo, K. Geven, A. Hasan, H. Patrinos

curvSocial distancing has been a necessary strategy to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), leading most countries to close their school systems. But with 1.5 billion children out of school in 175 countries (as of April 10), there are more and more concerns about the longer-term effects on learning. The world was already in a learning crisis, and the ongoing emergency will put further strain on hard-won gains in learning. In our ongoing work simulating these effects, we propose to think about the effects that school closures will have on the “learning curve.” Doing this will help us focus on the poorest and worst-off students, and to design better mitigation strategies that are in the best interest of children…This will be a living document. As results and new forecasts become available, we will update this blog, and try to assess how this emergency is unfolding. In the meantime, please supply us with your thoughts and projects, or let us know if there is something specific you would like us to estimate. https://blogs.worldbank.org/education/we-should-avoid-flattening-curve-education-possible-scenarios-learning-loss-during-school

The Learning Challenge in the 21st CenturyTruth matters, and the norms associated with a democratic society, such as the common good, responsibility, ethics, and civic engagement, are under attack with the emergence of the post-truth society. There are concerns worldwide that public education is failing us on pushing back on disinformation. And, in most countries, education systems are not providing workers with the skills necessary to compete in today’s job markets. The growing mismatch between demand and supply of skills holds back economic growth and undermines opportunity. At same time, the financial returns to schooling are high in most countries. Schooling remains a good economic and social investment, and there are record numbers of children in school today. The skills that matter in the coming technological revolution are likely the same as what is needed in a media environment of disinformation. More and better education and noncognitive skills will not only prepare students for the future world of work, they will also prepare them to navigate the increasingly complex post-truth society. They will also allow young people to gain trust. In other words, better education is democratizing, to the extent that it promotes truth, values, and civic engagement…

 Distance Learning during the Lockdown:

‘I Can’t Believe I Am Going to Say This, but I Would Rather Be at School’

Kids are getting more bored by the day. We wish we could go back to school to see our friends. But some of us are also really scared about getting the coronavirus, and we don’t want our friends and family to get it either…

Does EdTech Substitute for Traditional Learning? Bettinger et al explore ed production function using randomized trial that varies dosage of computer-assisted learning (CAL) as substitute for traditional learning…CAL & traditional learning is optimal.

Isolating Tech from EdTech positive overall computer learning effects, “when we isolate the technology-based effect of CAL (over and above traditional pencil-and-paper learning) we generally find small to null effects…”

School closures, government responses, and learning inequality around the world during COVID-19 – The learning gap between rich and poor will likely grow during the pandemic, not just between high- and low-income countries, but also between high- and low-income regions and communities within countries. Although available data does not discriminate by gender or refugee/migrant status, girls, refugees, and migrant children and youth will also likely be severely impacted…

The Mao-Era School Shutdown That Forever Changed Education in China – “More than 1 million schools and 43 universities were made to stop classes in 1966. Schools reopened only in 1969, and colleges in 1970. A total of 107 million school students and 534,000 college students were impacted. Then, as now, China had the world’s largest education system. The Cultural Revolution led to a decline in high school and college completion rates by the age of 25 by an estimated 7.1 and 6.3 percentage points. Even after schools and colleges reopened, many students whose classes were disrupted either didn’t return or couldn’t complete their education. When China finally reintroduced a merit-based entrance examination for higher education after the end of the Cultural Revolution in 1976, the impact of the lost years became even clearer. In 1977, only 5 percent of the 5.7 million people who took the exam gained admission to college, compared to 70 percent who pass nowadays…”

Kosovo: Minister Bajrami: Distance learning is marking the first successes – The caretaker Minister of Education, Hykmete Bajrami, said that the distance learning project has already shown the first results. She thanked the students, teachers, parents and all those involved in the teaching project through a long Facebook text in distance. “I wish that we return to normalcy soon, but I also believe that distance learning will not only be difficult days like this, but I believe that this project will be the foundation of a major digitization project in the field of education” said Bajrami said and among other things she thanked World Bank for support. (Media: Botapress.info, Botasot.info, Kosovapress.com, Rtklive.com, Indeksonline.net, Sinjali.com, Lajmi.net, Telegrafi.com, Zeri.info).

World Bank and UNICEF Support Kazakhstan’s Distance Learning Approach – 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, zakon.kz reports .

Uzbek students give feedback on the advantages and disadvantages of distance learning during the COVID-19 quarantine – Distance learning for Uzbekistan is still one of the most vulnerable places in the education system. After the COVID-19 epidemic was called a pandemic, many states began to introduce quarantine measures. Since March 16, in Uzbekistan, it was decided to send all students and schoolchildren on extended holidays, and teachers and teachers on paid holidays.

Singapore Supports Low-Income Students In Distance Learning – This week, as Singapore closed its schools and students began home-based learning, the Ministry of Education has focused on ensuring that all students, particularly those from low-income families, have adequate resources to access online learning from their homes…

Ontario Announces Home Learning Support; B.C. Invests In Libraries, Online Platform – Ontario Prime Minister Doug Ford, along with the Deputy Premier and Minister of Health Christine Elliot and Minister of Education Stephen Lecce, announced the Support For Families initiative which will provide one-time direct payments to families while schools and childcare centers remain closed across the province. The payments are CAN$200 (US$143.29) to families with children ages 1-12 and CAN$250 (US$179.11) to families with special needs children up to age 21. Ford said the payments are intended to “…allow parents to access additional tools for our kids to use while at home and studying remotely.”  British Columbia’s Ministry of Education announced two new initiatives to help support online learning in the province: a CAN$3 million (US$2.15 million) investment in provincial libraries to upgrade their digital capacity and a license for Zoom video conferencing and collaboration platform for all K-12 public and independent schools across the province…

New Zealand Releases Distance Learning Support Plan – Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced a NZ$87.7 million (US$53 million) multi-pronged initiative to ensure students have the tools and resources they need to learn at home when distance learning begins in New Zealand on April 15 after spring break…

Australia Makes Free Childcare To Available To Families – Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced late last week that roughly one million families in the country will have access to free childcare in response to the coronavirus outbreak…

South Korea Develops Tv-Based Curriculum For Youngest Students – After several delays, the Ministry of Education announced that the new semester will begin with online classes on a staggered schedule this week…


OECD Webinar on Quality Aspects of Human Capital – Following recent work of the Quantification Assessment of Structural Reforms team on human capital, this webinar discussed an important and non-trivial question of how to combine the quality and quantity in macroeconomic measures of human capital. Balàzs Égert (ECO) summarised the key challenges emerging from the recent work to initiate the discussion. Harry Patrinos (World Bank), one of the leading authors of the World Bank’s new dataset on human capital, and Dirk Van Damme (OECD), Senior Counsellor of Education and Skills Directorate discussed their work on human capital, with focus on insights this provides for incorporating estimates of quality into the measurement of human capital at the macro level. Watch the webinar.

Categories COVID, early reading, Human capital, PISA, Returns to education, TIMSS

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