In a piece published on Dawn.com last week, distinguished academics Tahir Andrabi, Jishnu Das, and Benjamin Daniels revealed the long-term health and educational impact on children who lived through the October 2005 earthquake in the north of the country. The results make for grim reading.
Recent evidence suggests that the long-term learning losses from COVID-19 school closures could be big—far surpassing the short-term learning losses experienced during the school closures themselves. A study of the impact of the 2005 earthquake in Pakistan found that while children missed three months of school, four years after the earthquake, they were the learning equivalent of 1.5 years behind where they would have been with no earthquake.
There is a very large risk that the temporary shock to schooling from COVID will turn into large, long-term, lifetime losses for today’s children if schools re-open in “business as usual” mode. But if countries act now and plan to adapt their teaching to students' actual levels of learning, this long-term loss to today’s youth can be avoided. The efforts of “flattening the curve” of COVID-19 may lead, inadvertently, to “flattening the learning curve” of children, from which they may never recover.
Rukmini Banerji is a global pioneer in developing ways to make education universal by developing simple, practical, ways to help children progress on foundational skills by teaching students at the level of competence they actually have. She is the CEO of the NGO Pratham, which has pioneered these efforts, evaluated and perfected them, and helped Indian states and schools take them to scale, and shared them around the world.
Covid-19 has forced schools to close and thrown education systems around the world into an unprecedented crisis: how can students learn if they cannot access the classroom?
This blog is written by Dr. Belay Hagos Hailu, the director of Institute of Educational Research at Addis Ababa University and team lead of the Research on Improving Systems of Education (RISE) programme in Ethiopia. This blog is part of a series from the REAL Centre reflecting on the impacts of the current COVID-19 pandemic on research work on international education and development.
COVID-19 School Closures May Further Widen the Inequality Gaps between the Advantaged and the Disadvantaged in Ethiopia
This blog was written by Dawit Tibebu Tiruneh, Research Associate at the REAL Centre, University of Cambridge and member of the RISE Ethiopia research programme. This blog is part of a series reflecting on the impacts of the current COVID-19 pandemic on research work on international education and development published on the