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Pandemic Caused One-Third School Year Learning Loss

Posted by S. Kit on
children returning to school

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on education, with schools and universities across the world being forced to close and move to remote learning in order to curb the spread of the virus.

The sudden and widespread disruptions to education have led to concerns about the extent to which students may have lost learning as a result of the pandemic.

Studies have shown that students have experienced significant disruptions to their education due to school closures, remote learning, and other factors related to the pandemic.

According to an analysis from the journal Nature Human Behavior, children in developing countries and low-income circumstances have had the most profound effects, and many in the West have not recovered from the learning losses.


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The researchers found that children experienced an average loss in learning of about one-third of a school year's learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Similarly, a study by the RAND corporation found that students who participated in remote learning during the pandemic lost an average of 5 to 6 months of learning in math and 3 to 4 months in reading, compared to students who were able to attend in-person classes.

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The New York Times reported that the Nature Human Behavior study "findings suggest that the challenges of remote learning--coupled with other stressors that plagued children and families throughout the pandemic--were not rectified when school doors opened."

During the height of the pandemic, the Times reported that about 1.6 billion children globally missed a considerable amount of classroom learning time.

However, it's important to note that these figures are estimates, and the extent of learning loss is likely to have varied greatly among different students and communities. Some students may have been able to continue their education with little interruption, while others may have struggled with remote learning or faced other barriers that prevented them from making progress.


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Additionally, the effects of the pandemic are not limited to academic learning. The sudden shift to remote learning has also had negative impacts on students' well-being and mental health. For example, a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that students who participated in remote learning during the pandemic were more likely to experience symptoms of anxiety and depression than those who attended in-person classes.

Furthermore, students who were already at a disadvantage prior to the pandemic, such as those from low-income families or those with special needs, have been disproportionately affected by the disruptions to their education. These students may have faced additional challenges in accessing remote learning, such as lack of access to technology or a suitable learning environment.

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In order to mitigate the impacts of the pandemic on students' learning, it will be important for schools and educational systems to address the disparities that have been exacerbated by the pandemic. This may involve providing additional support and resources to students who have been most affected, as well as rethinking and improving remote learning strategies in order to better student's academic progress.

In summary, while the extent of learning loss due to the COVID-19 pandemic is difficult to quantify, it's clear that students have faced significant disruptions to their education. The impacts of the pandemic are likely to be varied, with some students experienced greater losses in learning than others. To help mitigate these impacts, it will be important for schools and educational systems to address the disparities that have been exacerbated by the pandemic and work to support students' academic progress and well-being.

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