Learning – Before and After COVID-19

News and Research 230

Azerbaijan, Human Capital Investments are the Key to Resilient Growth in the era of COVID-19 | Fadia Saadah

By limiting access to health, education, social protection, and jobs, the COVID-19 pandemic threatens to reverse human capital gains in Azerbaijan. In a recently published report, Survive, Learn, Thrive: Strategic Human Capital Investments to Accelerate Azerbaijan’s Growth, the government of Azerbaijan and the World Bank identify the main challenges to building and activating human capital and put a spotlight on high-impact interventions that respond to constraints…

Agile VET Education for Increased Employability in Georgia | Georgia faces the challenge of a major skills mismatch between its vocational education system and the needs of its labor market. To help bridge this gap, the country aims to increase the attractiveness of the vocational education and training (VET) profession and strengthen institutions for the development of an industry-led professional workforce. Recognizing the potential of this important education sub-sector for Georgia’s economic growth, the government is working with development partners to prioritize reforms and modernization of VET education. Strengthening Teacher Quality in Vocational Education and Training is an innovative and tailormade project, supported by the Good Governance Fund run by the British Embassy in Georgia, which will support industry-led skills for VET graduates, and also strengthen the quality of professional development for VET teachers…

Math and science performance of students in Europe and Central Asia. Lessons from the top performers | In December, the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA) released the seventh installment of the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS). TIMSS 2019 was conducted at the fourth and eighth grades in 64 countries and 8 benchmarking systems by 580,000 students. Inaugurated in 1995, TIMSS has been conducted every four years since, providing 24 years of trends in mathematics and science achievement. In grade 4 Math, the top performers, once again, came from East Asia: Singapore, Hong Kong SAR, Korea, Chinese Taipei (599) and Japan (593). They were followed by European countries, led by the Russian Federation, but at 567 points, this is more than 50 points, or a half a standard deviation, behind the global leader and represents more than a year’s worth of learning… It is also worth keeping in mind that these scores refer to the period before the COVID-19 pandemic and school closures. They serve as a benchmark as we look towards the next round. Hopefully, learning recovery efforts and much-needed reforms will allow us to see gains in the next release.

Must try harder: recovering from educational inequality | School closures during the pandemic have hit socially excluded students hard. The EU needs to ensure every child can reach their potential | The first wave of the pandemic saw schools throughout Europe, with few exceptions, switch from in-person instruction to remote learning. Though many governments had sought to avoid a repeat, stringent winter lockdowns have recently seen schools once again become a casualty of the virus. The shift to online education has proved detrimental, with an average weekly learning loss of around 0.82-2.3 per cent estimated in France, Germany, and Italy during the spring… Over 10 per cent of students, the majority hailing from socio-economically disadvantaged families, have been cut off from education altogether in some European countries. In Romania, a survey by Caritas revealed that only 3 per cent of Roma children had participated in online lessons… generating funding for an EU-wide, emergency ‘recovery plan’ for children whose education has been severely hampered. The ‘catch-up tuition’ programme in England, which provides additional tutoring opportunities for students most afflicted by Covid-19, could be a model worth emulating. Over the long haul, however, the EU should design a supranational programme, potentially as a top-up to the European Social Fund Plus, aimed at permanently eradicating persistent gaps in learning… In Finland and Ireland, funding formulae channel additional resources, including teaching assistants and digital technology, to schools with large concentrations of disadvantaged students…

COVID19 shocks to education supply: how 200,000 U.S. households dealt with the sudden shift to distance learning

COVID19 Learning Loss – new evidence from California: significant loss, severe equity impacts

Lockdown lessons—how will the pandemic change higher education?

WB talks about results of measures to develop human capital in Azerbaijan (Trend News Agency) | The government of Azerbaijan has achieved a great deal in terms of human capital development, Fadia M. Saadah, World Bank Human Development Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia, said, Trend reports. “Over the last five years, enrollment in higher education rose 21 percent,” Saadah said. “The introduction of mandatory health insurance supported an increase in the use of essential primary care level and improvements in efficiency”…

The Effect of Labor Market Conditions at Entry on Workers’ Long-Term Skills | Using data on adults’ cognitive skills from 19 countries, this paper shows that labor market conditions during the education-to-work transition impact workers’ long-term skill development. Workers who faced higher unemployment rates at ages 18-25 have lower skills at ages 36-59. Unemployment rates at ages 26-35 do not have such an effect. Skill inequality is affected: those with less educated parents experience most of the negative effects. Using German panel data on skills, I document a mechanism related to heterogeneous skill development across firms: young workers at large firms experience higher skill growth than those at small firms.

Returns to higher education in China – evidence from the 1999 higher education expansion using a fuzzy regression discontinuity | China experienced a 47% expansion in higher education enrolment between 1998 and 1999 and a sixfold expansion in the decade to 2008. Using a fuzzy discontinuity in the months of births, we show that the 1999 expansion increased education by roughly 1 year around the cut-off point. Importantly, each additional year of university education induced by the expansion increases monthly earnings by 24%, whereas the corresponding OLS estimate is only 8%. Our findings are insensitive to alternative window widths, functional forms or the exclusion of the self-employed.

Hungry for Success? SNAP Timing, High-Stakes Exam Performance, and College Attendance | Another example of how high-stakes testing disadvantages poorer students…

Review of the Evidence on Short-Term Education and Skills Training Programs for Out-of-School Youth with a Focus on the Use of Incentives | Short-term education and skills training programs are a popular way to meet the needs of unemployed, out-of-school youth by providing them with an opportunity to quickly acquire qualifications and skills that can lead to productive employment. This paper reviews the global evidence to identify which programs are most effective at delivering results. How incentives for stakeholders are incorporated into the program design is given particular attention…

Categories COVID, Education, Human capital, Returns to education, TIMSS

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