The Impact of COVID-19 and the Education Response (News and Research 201)


Simulating the Potential Impacts of COVID-19 School Closures on Schooling and Learning Outcomes A Set of Global Estimates | Azevedo, Hasan, Goldemberg, Aroob Iqbal, K. Geven Policy Research Working Paper 9284 | School closures due to COVID-19 have left more than a billion students out of school. This paper presents the results of simulations considering three, five and seven months of school closure and different levels of mitigation effectiveness resulting in optimistic, intermediate and pessimistic global scenarios. Using data on 157 countries, the analysis finds that the global level of schooling and learning will fall. COVID-19 could result in a loss of between 0.3 and 0.9 years of schooling adjusted for quality, bringing down the effective years of basic schooling that students achieve during their lifetime from 7.9 years to between 7.0 and 7.6 years. Close to 7 million students from primary up to secondary education could drop out due to the income shock of the pandemic alone. Students from the current cohort could, on average, face a reduction of $355, $872, or $1,408 in yearly earnings. In present value terms, this amounts to between $6,472 and $25,680 dollars in lost earnings over a typical student’s lifetime. Exclusion and inequality will likely be exacerbated if already marginalized and vulnerable groups, like girls, ethnic minorities, and persons with disabilities, are more adversely affected by the school closures. Globally, a school shutdown of 5 months could generate learning losses that have a present value of $10 trillion. By this measure, the world could stand to lose as much as 16 percent of the investments that governments make in the basic education of this cohort of students. The world could thus face a substantial setback in achieving the goal of halving the percentage of learning poor and be unable to meet the goal by 2030 unless drastic remedial action is taken.

What past disasters teach us about the damage done by school closures | One encouraging feature of the crisis is a focus on those children most at risk of long-term damage…

 Schoolwork in lockdown: new evidence on the epidemic of educational poverty | In the UK, the average amount of schoolwork being done at home has been very low. The extent of school provision for homes varied substantially. One fifth of pupils – over two million children – did no schoolwork at home, or less than an hour a day. Only 17 percent put in more than four hours a day. The inequality between regions and social groups was substantial. There is a need to give education a much greater priority in the management of the pandemic response, and for this response to include a focus on regional disparities.

COVID Catch-up: Helping Disadvantaged Students Close the Equity Gap | In Australia, one survey of more than 5,000 teachers finds only 35% were confident their students were learning well in remote learning. In disadvantaged schools, only 15% of teachers felt assured of student progress. Many disadvantaged students, who were already falling behind before the crisis, will have slipped further back. Even if remote learning was working well, disadvantaged students are likely to have learnt at about 50% of their regular rate, losing about a month of learning over a two-month lockdown. Recommendations: (1) Invest in a $1.25 billion national catch-up strategy over six months for disadvantaged students hardest hit by the shift to remote schooling during the COVID-19 crisis; (2) Provide the one-off ‘catch-up’ funding to schools to spend in the remainder of 2020, so that it helps stimulate the economy as the country battles recession; (3) Provide $20 million to the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) to create a package of suitable in-class assessment tools, so that teachers can identify and monitor struggling students. These measures include small-group tuition and successful literacy and numeracy instruction programs especially for students in the early years of their schooling; and small-group tuition programs that employ university graduates and pre-service teachers. And, of course, evaluation rigorously what works. The economic benefits of our reform package vastly outweigh the costs; we estimate it would deliver $3.5 billion in extra future earnings for disadvantaged students.

Supporting Student Learning and Wellbeing Over the Summer | Following extended school closures due to the coronavirus pandemic this spring, top-performing education systems are taking different approaches to support student learning and wellbeing over the summer. The Canadian province of Ontario has released a Summer Learning Plan, backed by funding more than double prior levels, that includes both traditional summer programming, such as summer classes, and new initiatives, such as opportunities to participate in virtual volunteer work. The plan was developed based on feedback from families and recognition that coronavirus-related school closures have increased summer learning loss. It will expand access to summer programming for more students than ever in the province’s history. In Singapore, schools have reopened during a month-long school vacation to provide in-person support for small priority groups of students. These include students in graduating cohorts, who need to prepare for national exams; students who need additional support from teachers, such as those who have struggled during distance learning; and students who need access to school facilities for hands-on learning in subjects like art or home economics. In Hong Kong, individual schools are deciding whether to extend the school year into the summer for all students, with some schools planning to provide up to three weeks of extra learning time.

Getting tutoring right to reduce COVID-19 learning loss | On May 12, former Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam announced the Tennessee Tutoring Corps, a program that will pair college students with schoolchildren this summer to reduce COVID-19 learning loss. We applaud this effort to address the economic and educational crisis brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. The need to support struggling students is acute. So is the need for job opportunities among college students and recent graduates. Moreover, Haslam is funding this initiative personally… there is a sizable body of gold-standard evidence showing that high-dosage tutoring (HDT) can produce large learning gains for students…

Government to fund private tutors for English schools | Year-long program aims to help pupils catch up on learning lost during Covid-19 pandemic. Under the plans, schools will be funded to hire private tutors from approved agencies to deliver one-to-one and small group lessons to pupils who have fallen behind with their studies after months out of school. Many have not accessed any remote learning throughout lockdown…

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Policy Response to Addressing Learning Gaps and Inequalities in Russia | What Russia Has Done To Confront the Challenges of School Closures: (1) Expansion of online education legislation; (2) Closure of public kindergartens; (3) A move to online education and postponement of all school test dates; (4) A shift to remote tertiary education; (5) More than 100 universities have provided jobs for students who lost income due to COVID.

Improving learning outcomes: What lessons can Central Asian countries learn from the COVID-19 crisis? | Country Director Lilia Burunciuc | They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Such is the case with this image of Aina Jakypova, a math teacher from a Kyrgyz village, explaining percentage calculations on the front gate of her home. When the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic disrupted education in the Kyrgyz Republic, as it did around the world, Ms. Jakypova understood all too well that her students would suffer learning losses as a result of school closures. This was especially true for schoolchildren from poor families, who are likely to suffer losses in learning equivalent to almost a half year of schooling. The video went viral in the Kyrgyz Republic, but its relevance and meaning extend far beyond. We must acknowledge that education and learning have changed as a result of the pandemic. Remote learning has underlined that many current teaching methods and learning approaches are outdated...kyr

Moldova Parliament ratifies the Financing Agreement between the Republic & IDA on the implementation of Higher Education Project

What countries can learn from programs to reduce age-grade distortion while preparing to reopen their schools? (Janssen Teixera) | Extended school closures, lack of effective or comprehensive mitigation measures, summer learning loss and health impacts, along with the COVID-19 economic impacts, will lead to dislocations in school systems worldwide. Severe learning loss will likely require students to repeat the school year. At risk students will also be disadvantaged. This could lead to increased levels of dropouts. Learning deficit is a common issue in contexts with high rates of dropouts and repetition, where large numbers of students attend grades that do not correspond to their ages (overaged students). Age-grade distortion is a phenomenon that unevenly hits students from less wealthy households and minorities (see more here). It is one of the most relevant predictors of dropouts and often leads to low paying jobs (as explained here). As countries prepare to reopen their schools, governments are looking for approaches for learning recovery and should pay close attention to accelerated learning programs aimed at reducing age-grade distortion. There is reliable evidence from the implementation of these programs in countries such as Brazil (see here), Honduras, Ghana, Tanzania, Bangladesh and Cambodia (see more here) that show how learning gaps can be reduced by providing teachers with resources (including for regular assessments of learning outcomes) and technical assistance to work closely with overaged students to fast track learning and avoid dropouts…

The Return: How Should Education Leaders Prepare for Reentry and Beyond? | Every system in the country will be making decisions around reopening school buildings. It is increasingly clear that the health and safety of school communities will depend on the dramatic restructuring of facilities and schedules. There are lessons to be learned from nations such as Denmark and Japan that have recently reopened, but also stark differences between what is possible there and what will be possible here. All reopening plans should begin with two goals in mind. First, the physical school environments should embody public health guidelines to prevent a COVID-19 outbreak and additional closures. Such planning will likely include not only significant changes to physical spaces, transportation plans, and calendar schedules, but also testing and contact-tracing capabilities, in partnership with and under the guidelines of health agencies. Second, the plan must produce enough confidence that families, students, and educators feel ready for face-to-face teaching in school. Communication with all stakeholders will be key.

Expert evaluated the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on education (Эксперт оценил влияние пандемии коронавируса на образование) | The consequences of the pandemic will have a long-term impact on the education sector, which requires a review of work in this area, said Tigran Shmis, head of educational projects at the World Bank in Russia…

Minecraft Education Edition program introduced in more than 150 schools of Georgia (Caucasus Business Week) | At the initiative of the Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sports of Georgia Mikheil Chkhenkeli, the process of introducing Minecraft Education Edition as a pilot in schools is underway. The project is being implemented in cooperation with Microsoft Georgia and with the involvement of Mindworks Education…


Learning & Skills Trends in the Covid19 Era [live]am

  • Elias Spirtounias
  • Ioana Lytrivi
  • Ania Mendrek
  • Konstantinos Pouliakas
  • Harry AnthonyPatrinos
  • Venetia Koussia

More details and video Here