How the COVID-19 Pandemic Has Disrupted Education Systems Worldwide

Last Modified:19 Mar 2023 08:57:31
How the COVID-19 Pandemic Has Disrupted Education Systems Worldwide

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on education systems worldwide, disrupting the learning of millions of students and potentially having long-term consequences. School closures have resulted in a massive loss of in-person instruction, estimated to be around 1.8 trillion hours, which has cut off young learners from their teachers, classmates, and critical services such as nutrition and healthcare. The pandemic has also exacerbated existing inequalities in the education sector, with many disadvantaged students having no access to distance learning or support.

The pandemic could have long-term effects on learning, income, and development. Students risk losing $17 trillion in lifetime earnings in present value, equivalent to about 14% of today's global GDP. The pandemic could also increase the number of children in learning poverty, which is the percentage of ten-year-olds who cannot read and understand.

Urgent measures are needed to support learning during and after the pandemic and to avoid or mitigate these negative consequences. These measures include reopening schools under safe conditions, providing additional resources for distance learning and catch-up efforts, and promoting inclusive and high-quality education for all children. It is crucial to address the digital divide and ensure that all students have access to digital devices and reliable internet connections. Moreover, it is necessary to support and invest in teachers, who have been at the forefront of the pandemic's education response, by providing them with the necessary training and resources to adapt to the new circumstances.

In conclusion, the pandemic has highlighted the importance of education as a fundamental human right and a key driver of economic and social development. It has also exposed the vulnerabilities and inequalities of education systems and emphasized the need for concerted action to ensure that no child is left behind. 



Author: Pooyan Ghamari, Swiss Economist and Visionary in Global Markets and Finances