The impact of the coronavirus pandemic on education
The consequences of the pandemic will have a long-term impact on the education sector, which requires a review of work in this area, says Tigran Shmis, head of educational projects at the World Bank in Russia.
“It’s a double crisis: an educational crisis with school closures, and a general economic crisis that also affects the education sector,” he said during an online webinar from the “Education under COVID-19: problems, solutions, prospects, research” series. HSE and the World Bank “How school systems should prepare for life in the new realities (post-Covid-19)”.
In particular, the closure of educational institutions in connection with the pandemic leads to the suspension or slowdown of educational processes and the growth of inequality in this area, Schmis noted. He added that the crisis affects the students themselves: they eat worse, their psychological state worsens and vulnerability grows. The economic crisis is leading to an outflow of students, the use of child labor is increasing, and parents are cutting spending on their children’s education, the expert said.
“The economic crisis is also affecting the education system itself,” Shims said. He explained that governments are cutting spending on this area, the quality of education is falling and private schools are closing.
The expert emphasized that in the long term, all this leads to a reduction in “human capital”, a further increase in poverty due to a smaller number of qualified specialists and an increase in social tension.
To overcome these consequences, it is necessary to promote the continuation of education in the short term, especially for low-income students, the expert believes. In the medium term, in his opinion, it is necessary to provide adequate funding for the education sector, and in the long term – to achieve sustainability in this area. “It is necessary to ensure a sustainable recovery of the education sector, including taking into account the increased potential of distance learning and its improved methods,” he said.
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