War’s Economic Fallout (News and Research 289)

War’s economic fallout: A tech-worker exodus from three nations | When Russia invaded Ukraine, Yuliya was traveling abroad from her native Belarus and faced a wrenching choice: An opponent of the war, she wondered if she should go back to one of the few nations actively supporting the invasion. She and her fiancé decided she should shelter in Poland instead of returning home as planned. Her employer, a Western information technology firm, had already agreed she could work remotely from Warsaw. But that meant leaving behind her parents, an apartment full of possessions, and her rescue dog named Amy. From Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine, a steady trickle of highly educated migrants or refugees has turned into a flood. Tens of thousands of often technically trained workers are fleeing war (in Ukraine) or political repression and the fallout from Western-imposed economic sanctions (in Belarus and Russia). For those last two countries, this brain drain appears likely to impose long-term damage on economic growth and diversification. The implications for Ukraine are less clear. Depending on how the conflict evolves, the talent outflow may prove more temporary or be mitigated as the diaspora results in new flows of knowledge and investment between Western nations and Ukraine.

COVID-19’s Impact on Learning Losses and Learning Inequality in Colombia| The pandemic’s impact on student learning by comparing student learning outcomes as measured by the Saber 11 national assessments during five years prior to the pandemic (2015-19) and two years after the onset of COVID-19 (2020-2021). Overall, the pandemic led to a 0.2 standard deviation decrease in average Saber 11 scores from previous years. While learning losses occurred in most of the subjects, the greatest losses were in English, social sciences, and critical reading.

Learning loss from Covid in Sub-Saharan Africa: Evidence from Malawi | In Malawi, the Government closed all public schools for a total of 7 months. On average, student learning was 97 points (0.8 standard deviations) below where we would project if the pandemic had not taken place. This is the equivalent to around two years of lost learning in total at pre-pandemic levels. Of the total 97 points of learning loss, 40 (0.3 s.d., almost one year’s learning) points occurred during the closure of schools. The seven-month closure to translates into 14 points (0.12 s.d.) of lost learning. This suggests that not only did students not learn during the closure of schools, but there was a one-off reduction in knowledge from the Covid shock, amounting to an average of 26 points (0.22 s.d., around six months’ learning), which is not accounted for by the lost schooling time.

Learning the hard way: The effect of conflict on education | Among the most pervasive of the economic consequences of conflict are those affecting children’s education outcomes. Focusing on the Second Intifada in the West Bank, this column documents how conflict events reduce Palestinian high-school students’ probability of passing their final exam, the total test score at the exam, and thus the probability of being admitted to university. Worryingly for conflict-affected counties like Ukraine, the negative effect of conflict on academic achievement may also have long-lasting consequences.

Ontario Launches Largest Tutoring Support Program | Following two years of global learning disruption, caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ontario government announced record funding for the 2022-23 school year. The funding will support learning recovery and mental health supports for students to enable them to return to a more normal school year next year. Education Minister Stephen Lecce today introduced Ontario’s Learning Recovery Action Plan – a five-point plan to strengthen learning recovery in reading and math, anchored by the largest provincial investment in tutoring supports, summer learning and mental health. The government outlined investments that will bridge learning gaps, supporting academic success and focus on overall mental health and wellness. Together, this total funding amounts to over $26.6 billion in 2022-23 — the highest investment in public education in Ontario’s history, with highlights including:

  • A $683.9 million increase in Grants for Student Needs (GSN) funding, with projected total funding of $26.1 billion. This represents a 2.7 per cent increase from 2021-22
  • Average per pupil GSN funding is projected to rise to $13,059, which is an increase of $339 or a 2.7 per cent increase from 2021-22
  • Over $500 million in Priorities and Partnerships Funding (PPF)
  • $90 million in total mental health investments, representing a 420 per cent increase in funding since 2017-18
  • $15 million to deliver expanded summer learning opportunities
  • $92.9 million increase in Special Education Grant funding through the GSN where it is projected to increase to over $3.25 billion, the highest amount ever provided in Special Education Grant funding
  • $304 million in time-limited additional staffing supports, through the COVID-19 Learning Recovery Fund as part of the GSN. This funding will go towards the hiring of an estimated 3,000 front line staff – including teachers, early childhood educators, educational assistants, and other education workers to address learning recovery.

China Promotes Teaching in Rural Schools | China’s most experienced teachers now have more incentives to teach in the country’s remote and rural schools. New guidance issued this week by the Ministry of Education makes teaching for more than one school year in a rural school a prerequisite for rising to the level of senior professional teacher on China’s career ladder. Teaching for at least three years in rural schools will now count favorably toward teachers who apply to be school principals. In addition, future funding allocations for performance bonuses for teachers will be prioritized for rural schools.


Ukraine has received nearly $90 million in student scholarships from the World Bank (Україна отримала від Світового банку майже 90 мільйонів доларів на стипендії для студентів) | These funds were provided by the bank in the framework of the project “Improvement of higher education in Ukraine for the sake of results”, implemented by the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine. “In March 2022, the World Bank approved the restructuring of the” Improving Higher Education in Ukraine for Results “project. Component 5 “Support for academic scholarships provided by the Ministry of Education and Science, as well as social scholarships provided by the Ministry of Social Policy for students of higher education institutions” was added to the project structure, the Ministry of Finance explained.