Especially pronounced in math
Swiss children lag behind in learning for months due to Corona
Children’s learning progress has suffered greatly from Corona. That shows a new study. However, the deficit varies greatly from country to country.
Published: 6 minutes ago
Due to the corona pandemic, Swiss children are behind in learning.
According to a large-scale international study, the corona pandemic has significantly slowed down the learning progress of schoolchildren. Overall, the students missed more than a third of the learning material of a normal school year – but only around a sixth in Switzerland.
The learning deficit in mathematics is much more pronounced than in reading, wrote the authors from France, Sweden and Great Britain in the study published on Monday in the journal “Nature Human Behaviour”. They justify this by saying that parents and children read together at home rather than solve math problems.
The reason for the learning deficits is the school closures during the pandemic. The authors estimate that 95 percent of all schoolchildren worldwide were affected. Mental and physical health problems may have exacerbated the deficits, according to the authors.
Learning deficit varies by country
Overall, learning progress suffered most in children with low socioeconomic status. “This suggests that educational inequalities between children from different backgrounds have been exacerbated during the pandemic,” the authors wrote in the study.
The authors also found that while learning deficits emerged early in the pandemic, they did not significantly decrease or increase over time.
The study is based on a meta-analysis of 42 studies from 15 high- and middle-income countries published between March 2020 and August 2022. Most of the studies analyzed concerned Great Britain and the USA, two studies concerned Switzerland.
In middle-income countries such as Brazil and Mexico, the learning deficit was larger than in high-income countries such as Switzerland, or the USA and Great Britain. How badly children from low-income countries are affected by learning deficits is unclear. There are no corresponding studies from these countries.