How much has the closure of schools induced by the Covid-19 pandemic impacted student learning? A study by American researchers, published last week, has quantified the impact, projected to the end of the academic year.
While the projections have been made for US schools, which have reopened in some states during the autumn, concerns around setbacks to learning are universal. In India, a number of states have begun to reopen or announced dates for reopening school for senior classes.
The US study is published in Educational Researcher, a journal of the American Educational Research Association. It uses a model that assumes that school closures in spring 2020 functioned as an extended summer break, and provides preliminary projections of the impact of these closures on student learning.
The takeaway: Compared to a typical year, students likely did not gain as much academically during the truncated 2019–20 school year, and likely lost more of those gains due to the extended time out of school.
The authors estimated that returning students likely started school this fall (autumn) with approximately 63 per cent to 68 per cent of the typical annual learning gains in reading. For mathematics, they estimated that the students started the autumn classes with 37 per cent to 50 per cent of the typical annual learning gains.
This reduced learning was not universal; the researchers estimated that the top one-third of students potentially made gains in reading. 📣 Express Explained is now on Telegram
The researchers said these projections imply that educators and policymakers will need to address that many students are substantially behind academically as a result of extended school closures.
Source: ENS and American Educational Research Association
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines