Publication: Learning Losses during COVID-19: Global Estimates of an Invisible and Unequal Crisis
Wong, Yi Ning
This paper presents updated simulation results of the potential effects of COVID-19-related school closures on learning outcomes globally. The simulation, which updates and extends prior work by Azevedo, Hasan et al. (2021) and Azevedo (2020), examines potential learning losses as the pandemic moves into the third year. Beyond reflecting the longer duration of the crisis, the paper extends prior work by using country-specific observed school closure information, accounts for the partial reopening of some education systems, updates the baseline Learning Poverty estimates to reflect its best estimate to date just before the pandemic (circa 2019), and uses updated June 2021 macroeconomic projections to reflect the economic magnitude of the crisis. The analysis finds that the overall learning levels are likely to fall substantially around the world. Under an “intermediate” scenario, school closures could potentially increase the share of children in Learning Poverty in low- and middle-income countries by 13 percentage points, to 70 percent. Globally, learning adjusted years of schooling could fall by 1.1 years, and the share of youth below minimum proficiency on the Programme for International Student Assessment could rise by 12.3 percentage points. Furthermore, school shutdowns could generate lifetime earning losses of $21 trillion. These results imply that decisive action is needed to recover and accelerate learning.
“Azevedo, João Pedro; Akmal, Maryam; Cloutier, Marie-Helene; Rogers, Halsey; Wong, Yi Ning. 2022. Learning Losses during COVID-19: Global Estimates of an Invisible and Unequal Crisis. Policy Research Working Papers;10218. © World Bank, Washington, DC. http://hdl.handle.net/10986/38228 License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.”
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