Ground Report | New Delhi: COVID learning loss; The loss of learning caused by the COVID-19 pandemic could cost students 17 billion dollars of the total income they will receive throughout their lives, warned the World Bank, UNESCO, and UNICEF in a report.
“The potential increase in learning poverty could have a devastating impact on the future productivity, income and well-being of this generation of children and youth, their families, and economies around the world,” said Jaime Saavedra, Director of Education. from the World Bank.
A new forecast reveals that the impact is more severe than previously thought, far exceeding the US $ 10 trillion estimated in 2020, according to the report ‘The State of the Global Education Crisis: A Path to recovery ‘published this Monday by the World Bank, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
In countries such as Pakistan, rural India, or South Africa, prolonged school closings caused significant losses in students’ learning of mathematics and reading ability.
The impact on the lag in basic learning is greater for low-income students. As shown by a study cited by the report, where in two states of Mexico significant learning losses were revealed in students aged 10 to 15 years, especially among those with the lowest socioeconomic level. This is despite the implementation of the distance education program ‘Learn at Home’.
The report highlights that, with some exceptions, the trends in learning losses and the characteristics of the educational crisis coincide with the results obtained in Mexico:
Children from low-income households, boys with disabilities, and girls had fewer opportunities to access distance learning than their peers. This was often due to a lack of access to technologies and a lack of electricity, connectivity and devices, as well as discrimination and gender norms.
Younger learners had less access to distance learning and were more affected by learning loss than older learners, especially among preschool-age children in critical stages of learning and development.
The negative impact on learning has disproportionately affected the most marginalized or vulnerable. Learning losses were greater for students of lower socioeconomic status in countries such as Ghana, Mexico, and Pakistan.
Early data indicate greater losses among girls, as they are rapidly losing the protection that schools and learning offer to their well-being and life chances.
UNICEF Director Robert Jenkins warned that girls had a “more significant learning loss and increased risk of facing child labor, gender-based violence, early marriage, and pregnancy.” For this reason, schools should be reopened as soon as possible and targeted support allocated to the care of this vulnerable group.