Creative Education (News and Research 294)

Inequality in the Effects of Primary School Closures due to the COVID-19 Pandemic: Evidence from the Netherlands | Recently published in AEA Papers & Proceedings | Two years of the COVID-19 pandemic and school closures raises concerns about learning loss and inequality. Learning loss occurred during the first year (see Donnelly and Patrinos 2021 for an overview); but did it increase or decrease in the period that followed? This paper assesses progress in the Netherlands using a large dataset of around 500,000 students from about 1,900 schools. School closures have a negative effect on standardized learning growth, amounting to an annual average of 5.5 weeks of learning loss. When analyzing differential effects by socioeconomic status, parental education, household income, household structure, household size, and migration status, we find that the negative effect is larger for the more vulnerable students.

Summer Camps for Ukrainian and Estonian Students | Estonia added 2.8 million euros to its budget for schools and other institutions to organize summer camps for groups of Estonian and Ukrainian children ages 7 to 14. The idea is to provide opportunities for Ukrainian young people to spend “meaningful free time” with Estonian peers, learn the Estonian language, and for all the students to better understand each other’s cultures.  She said “Youth camps are definitely a good opportunity to make new friends and practice Estonian language, so that they can continue their studies in Estonian schools in the autumn.”  The camps also aim to support the well-being of both Estonian and Ukrainian youth.

Creative remote education can make up for learning lost during school disruptions | The COVID-19 pandemic was a historic shock to education systems. In many low- and middle-income countries, it dramatically set back learning levels. Noam Angrist looks at innovative low tech solutions.

El COVID-19 y la tragedia de la educación en México | A second type of problem has begun to be analyzed from the academy and with the limited information resources available: learning loss.

UNRWA announces education expert advisory group, global experts support UN agency to continue providing quality education to Palestine refugee students | As part of its commitment to providing an inclusive and equitable education to refugee children, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), announced the launch of an Education Expert Advisory Group to help ensure the over 550,000 Palestine refugee students maintain access to quality education. The panel will be composed of globally recognized education experts representing renowned institutions such as UNESCO and the World Bank, among others.

Skills, Human Capital, and Economic Development| The Asian Skills Index is roughly modeled on the European Skills Index for Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development countries. The newly developed learning-adjusted years of schooling indicator plays an integral role in the Asian Skills Index.

Introducing Financial Services to Native Amazonians in Bolivia | In many native Amazonian communities, money is becoming an increasingly important part of the village economy. However, savings culture and financial tools to promote the accumulation of money for larger purchases and emergencies do not exist in many of these communities. Centering on one native Amazonian society (Tsimane’) and partnering with a Bolivian non- profit, researchers evaluated the impact of providing Tsimane’ households with lockboxes on their savings activity, consumption, and well-being. Providing lockboxes increased household financial assets but had no impact on total household expenditure; receiving lockboxes also increased alcohol consumption and blood pressure.

Education Quality, Green Technology and the Economic Impact of Carbon Pricing | Carbon pricing is increasingly used by governments to reduce emissions. One mitigating factor that has received less attention is education quality. If technological change that reduces the reliance of production on emissions is skill-biased, then carbon pricing may increase the skill premium and wage inequality; however, a more elastic skill supply through better education quality may mitigate adverse economic outcomes including wage inequality. Using data on industrial emissions linked to education quality, it is found that cognitive skills are positively associated with employment in industries that rely less on emissions for production and in industries that, over time, have been able to reduce their reliance on emissions.

How to Make Up the Covid Learning Loss | Paying students for attendance, behavior and homework can boost achievement | When Covid-19 struck, many schools canceled in-person classes to control the spread, with some remaining virtual for a year or more. Whatever the benefits, these decisions delayed student learning. To this day, kids are lagging behind previous norms for academic progress—the poor most of all. With kids having sacrificed so much in the fight against Covid, a disease that primarily harms those much older, it’s time for society to get students back on track. As it turns out, there’s a way to improve student learning that even sullen teenagers won’t complain about: Give them financial incentives to study hard.



Education Impacts of the Covid-19 School Closures | Mitigating the Learning Losses Caused by the COVID-19 School Closures | Conference jointly organized by World Bank and IDEA at CERGE-EI | 21 June 2022, 13:00 – 18:00 (Central European Summer Time – UTC +2) | Prague, CERGE-EI (The Schebek Palace, Politických vězňů 7, Prague 1) | Format: Hybrid: online and in-person | The objective of this conference is to document the size and determinants of the learning loss brought about by school closures, identify policy options to reverse these losses, and setting the bases of a more resilient education system. The Conference is divided into three parts: (1) An overview of the pre-pandemic global learning crisis and the mechanisms through which this was exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic; (2) The elements of a “Learning Recovery Plan” based on recent evidence of interventions that have proven to be effective to improve learning, particularly among disadvantaged students; and (3) Lessons that can be drawn from the COVID-19 pandemic in the road towards the construction of a more resilient, efficient, and equitable education system. The Conference will be concluded by a panel summarizing a call to action. (Confirmed speakers: Daniel Münich (IDEA at CERGE-EI), Nuno Crato (University of Lisbon), Maciej Jakubowski (University of Warsaw), Gunda Tire (Finland), Lenora Chu (Christian Science Monitor), Lucas Gortazar (EsadeEcPol), Vaclav Korbel (IDEA at CERGE-EI). Thierry Rocher (Ministère de l’éducation nationale and Université Paris X Nanterre), Hjalte Meilvang (Ministry of Education, Denmark), Rafael de Hoyos, Harry Patrinos (World Bank).