How the World Bank supports countries on remote learning in the immediate to short term and will help restore learning after the pandemic is over. CLICK HERE.
Before the outbreak of the global coronavirus pandemic, the world was already dealing with a learning crisis, as evidenced by high numbers of Learning Poverty. With the spread of the coronavirus, the education system is facing a new crisis, as more than 160 countries (as of March 24) mandate some form of school closures impacting at least 1.5 billion children and youth. Extended school closures may cause not only loss of learning in the short term, but also further loss in human capital and diminished economic opportunities over the long term.
As seen from previous health emergencies, most recently the Ebola outbreaks, the impact on education is likely to be most devastating in countries with already low learning outcomes, high dropout rates, and low resilience to shocks. While school closures seem to present a logical solution to enforcing social distancing within communities, prolonged closures tend to have a disproportionately negative impact on the most vulnerable students. They have fewer opportunities for learning at home, and their time out of school may present economic burdens for parents who may face challenges finding prolonged childcare, or even adequate food in the absence of school meals.
In addition to closing schools, countries are exploring options for remote learning and use of other educational resources to mitigate loss of learning. This involves capitalizing on work already started, and addressing ever-present challenges like degrees of accessibility within communities to ensure equity in access.
The World Bank’s education team is working to support countries as they manage and cope with the crisis today and is advising on remote learning at scale in the immediate to short term as well as supporting operations to facilitate learning after the pandemic is over. The Bank is also providing ongoing support to systemic education reform to ensure that when children do return to school, schools can provide the necessary environments to ensure children learn.
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Last Updated: Jun 02, 2020