Article How to protect education outcomes in the face of the Covid-19 crisis?
The Covid-19 pandemic has created a crisis in the education systems of Latin America and the Caribbean the likes of which has never been seen before. Throughout the region, schools have closed (or the start of the school year has been delayed) so most students are not attending face-to-face classes. While the situation is still uncertain, in most cases, school closures have been announced until the end of April. Depending on how the health situation progresses, the closure may need to be extended for even more time.
A major concern is the exacerbation of educational inequity, as children from lower-income households will be less likely to have the resources necessary to take advantage of limited opportunities for virtual education. At the same time, extended school closures will have harmful effects on food availability in households with limited resources, where schools often provide supplementary nutrition and assistance through feeding programs.
To solve the problem, educational authorities—in addition to leading efforts to ensure continuity in virtual learning—must utilize their essential role as regulators to effectively develop and communicate strategic guidelines for the educational community as a whole. Critical information such as the duration of the closure of schools and the standards for graduation, grade promotion, grades and exams should be communicated clearly and transparently to avoid confusion and provide guidance to all members of the educational community.