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The pandemic will set back the level of education in Latin America by 10 years, according to a report by the World Bank and Unicef

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The pandemic and the subsequent school closures will set back the educational level of Latin American children by more than 10 years, especially in reading and mathematics, according to a report, published this Thursday, prepared by the World Bank (WB) and Unicef, in collaboration with UNESCO.

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According to the researchers, the absence of education or the drop in its quality during the more than two years of the pandemic will cause the average results in these two disciplines considered fundamental skills to fall to levels of a decade ago.

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“Latin America already had an educational crisis before the pandemic arrived, and the covid-19 has deepened it even more,” the main author of the report, Emanuela Di Gropello, said in an interview with Efe, who assured that the current data is already beginning. to point in that direction.

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Another finding of the research was that 4 out of 5 11-year-olds (ie 80%) will be unable to adequately understand and interpret a basic text of moderate length.

The experts reached these conclusions using as data the duration of school closures in the region (significantly higher than in other parts of the world) and studies on how the lack of education or poorer quality education affects the educational process of children. .

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According to figures handled by the World Bank, some 170 million Latin American and Caribbean students have received only 50% of the face-to-face classes that they would have received since the pandemic was declared and to date.

“The most vulnerable children are the youngest and those who come from low socioeconomic backgrounds,” Di Gropello explained, adding that this educational setback will result in a loss of future earnings (that is, in wages and other income over time). their working life) of 12%.

To try to mitigate the impact of school closures over the past two years, the researchers suggested a “safe and sustainable” reopening of all schools, re-enrolling all students without exception and preventing dropouts.

In addition, they proposed that school curricula prioritize fundamental skills (such as reading, writing, and math), that teachers assess the levels of each student to determine the effects of the pandemic, and that specific strategies and programs be implemented. (YO)

Source: Eluniverso

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