Educational responses to COVID-19 research

Date: 6th August 2020
Category: Education, Leisure and Cultural Activities

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A briefing paper by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) analyses the educational responses taken by governments in 20 OECD countries in response to COVID-19. It also includes a set of general recommendations to inform the future development of education strategies.

The paper discusses the wide-ranging ways in which COVID-19 has affected the delivery of education, including the provision of online learning, unequal access to technology and the cancellation of assessments.

Due to the emergency posed by COVID-19, there was little time for governments to craft coherent responses for students and schools. The abrupt move to online has created significant risks for learning and negatively impacted on student wellbeing. Furthermore, it increased educational inequalities as some children did not have access to sufficient technology and internet access for online learning.

As the pandemic evolves, countries are adopting different strategies to transition back to in-person education in the short term. However, experts have warned that the pandemic may not end until next year so it is necessary for countries to adopt long-term strategies and contingency planning to ensure they are equipped to provide education in public health emergencies.

The paper provides a framework to help governments structure their evolving education response to COVID-19. Some of the main recommendations include:

  • Identify the key contextual factors relevant to the crisis, such as the resources available to students to access online learning and impact on wellbeing.
  • Consider educational stakeholders as the main drivers of change and facilitate their participation in policymaking.
  • Design an educational policy informed by the educational impact of the crisis to respond to school needs.
  • Shape a clear and coherent implementation strategy.

It is hoped that using learning from education responses in OECD countries could help governments save time and result in better outcomes.

Read the briefing paper here.