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Nicolas Reuge; Robert Jenkins; Matt Brossard (et al.)
Meira Levinson; Alan C. Geller; Joseph G. Allen (et al.)
Global school closures as a result of COVID-19 have caused learning losses for millions of children despite efforts to deploy remote learning options. Greater economic insecurity among families may also affect school enrolment as many struggle to pay school fees, or require children to work to supplement family income. Ultimately, this will lead to rising dropout rates, estimated to be as much as 4% in a region where 128 million children and young people were already out of school before COVID-19. The largest number of learners at risk reside in South and West Asia. Together, the education and economic fallout from the pandemic threaten progress toward the Sustainable Development Goal for education (SDG 4). Even prior to the COVID-19 disruptions, progress towards SDG 4 was lagging in many countries in the Asia-Pacific and without significant contributions to education finance, the pandemic threatens to push the region even further behind. This report breaks down the effects of school closures. It considers, for example, how many schools were closed, and when, across the Asia-Pacific, and the effects on different levels of education from early childhood education, through to primary and secondary school. The report analyses country efforts to implement remote learning, and strategies to mitigate learning losses as the proportion of students expected to fall below minimum proficiency levels is expected to rise.
Students around the world have lost substantial instructional time owing to abrupt school closures since theoutbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to UNESCO monitoring, in 2020, school buildings werecompletely closed for an average of 15 weeks (4 months) worldwide (UNESCO, 2021a). Counting partialclosures, schools were shut on average for 26 weeks (6.5 months) worldwide, equivalent to almost two-thirds of a typical school year. In response, education systems have deployed remote and hybrid learning modalities to ensure continuity of learning. These efforts have yielded mixed results, with varying degrees of improvement and reduction in inequalities in student learning depending on the modalities and implementation methods of the different education programmes. As a result, almost all students needsome catch-up learning, compelling education systems to deploy and scale up targeted interventions quicklyto help pupils bridge their learning gaps and improve learning.This paper draws key messages to help policy and practice to mitigate the disruptive effects of the COVID-19 crisis on student learning. It addresses the growing concerns of both policy and decision-makers aboutstudents’ disengagement from – or loss of – learning owing to the pandemic, as reflected in low levels of achievement at checkpoints compared to expected learning levels, reduced rates of completion and/orgrowing disparities in learners' achievement. If policy-makers do not react quickly by providing additionaland relevant support to address students’ learning needs, especially those from marginalized groups,millions of children and youth may not return to the classroom, and may eventually drop out of school.
Emma Southall; Alex Holmes; Edward M. Hill (et al.)
Shivit Bakrania; Cirenia Chávez; Alessandra Ipince; Matilde Rocca; Sandy Oliver; Claire Stansfield; Ramya Subrahmanian
This rapid review collates and synthesizes evidence on the child protection impacts of COVID-19 and previous pandemics, epidemics and infectious disease outbreaks. It provides lessons for global and national responses to COVID19 and recommendations for future research priorities.
The evidence on the impacts of pandemics and epidemics on child protection outcomes is limited and skewed towards studies on the effects of HIV/AIDS on stigma. There is also some evidence on the effects of Ebola on outcomes such as orphanhood, sexual violence and exploitation, and school enrolment, attendance and dropout. The evidence on other pandemics or epidemics, including COVID-19, is extremely limited.
There are various pathways through which infectious disease outbreaks can exacerbate vulnerabilities, generate new risks and result in negative outcomes for children. Outcomes are typically multi-layered, with immediate outcomes for children, families and communities - such as being orphaned, stigmatization and discrimination and reductions in household income - leading to further negative risks and outcomes for children in the intermediate term. These risks include child labour and domestic work, harmful practices (including early marriage), and early and adolescent pregnancy.
Lessons from previous pandemics and epidemics suggest that the following could mitigate the child protection risks:
There is a high burden of proof for data collection during the current COVID-19 outbreak than there would be in normal circumstances. Evidence generation strategies during and after the COVID-19 crisis should consider rigorous retrospective reviews and building upon monitoring, evidence and learning functions of pre-existing programmes – particularly where there is ongoing longitudinal data collection. There should also be efforts to synthesize evidence from existing research on the effectiveness of interventions that respond to the key risk pathways identified in this review.
Shivit Bakrania; Ramya Subrahmanian
This research brief summarizes the findings of a rapid review that collates and synthesizes evidence on the child protection impacts of COVID-19 and previous pandemics, epidemics and infectious disease outbreaks. It provides lessons for global and national responses to COVID19 and recommendations for future research priorities.
The evidence on the impacts of pandemics and epidemics on child protection outcomes is limited and skewed towards studies on the effects of HIV/AIDS on stigma. There is also some evidence on the effects of Ebola on outcomes such as orphanhood, sexual violence and exploitation, and school enrolment, attendance and dropout. The evidence on other pandemics or epidemics, including COVID-19. is extremely limited.
UNICEF Innocenti's Children and COVID-19 Library is a database collecting research from around the world on COVID-19 and its impacts on children and adolescents.
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COVID-19 & Children: Rapid Research Response