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Closing the Learning Gaps Worsened by Lockdowns

The COVID-19 pandemic brought the world to a standstill, and schools, in particular, were profoundly affected. In an attempt to curb the virus's spread, educational institutions globally shifted to remote learning. While this move was a necessary response, it also unearthed a stark reality: the deepening of learning gaps among students.

One of the most glaring issues was the unequal access to technology. Many students lacked the necessary devices or reliable internet connections, hindering their ability to participate in remote classes. Additionally, the absence of a quiet and conducive study space at home further disadvantaged many students. The role of parental support in facilitating online learning was even more unequal in countries like ours, affecting student outcomes.

Consequently, learning loss became a pervasive concern, particularly in foundational subjects like mathematics and reading. The longer lockdowns persisted, the wider these gaps grew. Now, even two years after schools have reopened, educators are still struggling to address these disparities.

Closing these learning gaps will require a multifaceted approach. Schools must implement targeted interventions to identify and support students who have fallen behind. Personalised learning plans can help tailor education to individual needs, while additional resources and support must be channelled towards the most vulnerable students.

As we navigate the post-pandemic educational landscape, it is crucial to recognise the lasting impact of lockdowns on learning outcomes. Proactive measures to address these disparities are not only a matter of educational equity but also a societal need to ensure that no child is left behind. A social auditing of school education is, therefore, an urgent need.

Any system that improves foundational literacy and numeracy skills in children such as Measureme™ can help in closing these learning gaps. Measureme™ is a Self-Assessment + Randomised Social Audit (SARSA) platform for education. We can collaborate with schools and nonprofits to provide them with technology support to identify children who need most help, and also to make that help available.



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