Rewrite the future: how Indonesia’s education system can overcome the losses from the COVID-19 pandemic and raise learning outcomes for all

Author(s): Afkar, Rythia; Yarrow, Noah

Publisher(s): World Bank

Date: 2021

Pages: 23 p.

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We present an updated estimate of learning loss due to COVID-19-related school closures in Indonesia, taking into account the Government of Indonesia’s mitigating measures. Our revised estimates show that school closures precipitated by the COVID-19 pandemic could result in a total loss of between 0.9 and 1.2 years of learning adjusted schooling and on average between 25 and 35 points on student’s PISA reading scores. The extent of learning loss is determined more by the effectiveness of distance learning than it is by the duration of school closure in the time period investigated. We identify a reduction of between US$408 and US$578 per student in future annual earnings equivalent to a present value loss in lifetime earnings for all students of between US$253 and 359 billion, or 24 to 34 percent of 2020 GDP. To accelerate learning and to recover some of these losses in the short-term, schools and teachers can assess what each of their students has been able to learn while schools were closed and use differentiated plans to support each child to accelerate their learning. In the longer term, the Government can support the increased resilience of education service delivery to protect against future shocks from pandemics, climate change and other threats. The objective for Indonesia should be an overall improvement of student learning outcomes over pre-pandemic performance, together with increased education system resilience.

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