Study: COVID Set Back Students By 35% of a Year

Image copyright: Getty Images [via Nature]

The Facts

  • A study published in “Nature Human Behavior” on Monday reported that students lost more than one-third of a school year’s worth of learning after the start of the COVID pandemic, which caused global school closures.

  • The study analyzed 42 reports across 15 countries and found that, in addition to closures, the shift to remote learning and the mental health toll of being out of school contributed to the learning loss, with particular deficiencies found in math.

The Spin

Narrative A

In the face of an unprecedented pandemic, governments did their best, and school closures were deemed necessary. While COVID's exacerbation of what was an already existing global education crisis is inarguable, it's now time to focus on collective action to lay the foundations for more equitable and resilient education systems worldwide.

Narrative B

School closures were universally rushed based on the misplaced presumption that it would prevent the spread of COVID, and children worldwide are now paying the price. Even with aggressive action, the drain on students' learning, mental health, and socio-economic development will be felt for years to come.

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