According to UNESCO, more than 90% of all learners were affected by school closures caused by COVID-19 at the peak of the disruption. While important contributions exist to help capture the impact of COVID-19 on education, there still lacks first-hand and internationally comparable information from schools, collected in a systematic and scientific manner, which is needed for evaluating the extent to which teaching and learning have been challenged, continued, and adjusted as a result of the current crisis.
In the context of COVID-19, IEA and UNESCO launched a study, in partnership with the European Commission (EC), which draws a more comprehensive picture of the pandemic’s impact on global education: Responses to Educational Disruption Survey (REDS).
The joint study focuses on evaluating the varying situations in secondary education (grade 8) and reporting on the respective challenges of providing quality instructions at a time of widespread educational disruption due to the COVID-19 crisis. The study has collected information from governments, school principals, and optionally teachers and students, on how countries and, in particular, schools are prepared for distance learning in times of school closures and during a subsequent reopening phase, including measures implemented to provide all students with the opportunity to continue learning.
Burkina Faso, Denmark, Ethiopia, India, Kenya, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Slovenia, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, and Uzbekistan.
- Learn how countries and schools are prepared for distance learning in times of school closures, as well as during a subsequent reopening phase
- Gain insights on the impact of the disruption, as well as factors and measures that may influence the success of distance learning for students across countries
- Yield valuable data collected from countries, schools, teachers, and students that can provide education stakeholders with information for evidence-based decision-making
- Improve understanding of students most at risk as a result of educational disruption, to support in building resilient education systems for future
- Strengthen gender equality and empower teachers, based on first-hand information from schools and teachers that has been collected in a scientific manner
The study focuses on acquiring first-hand information from schools in times of school closures and the implemented school reopening measures. Thus, the study links to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 on ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education for all. REDS is designed to serve as a valuable source of information evaluating the extent to which education systems have been challenged in their pursuit of SDG 4 targets as a result of the current crisis, in particular targets 4.1 and 4.4, and what measures/settings were perceived as effective to mitigate the impact (for different groups of students).
UNESCO has released a dashboard providing insights into student well-being. The dashboard uses REDS data to raise and answer questions such as:
- How did students feel during the COVID-19-induced schooling disruption?
- What is most important for student social and emotional well-being at school?
- What are the other important factors affecting student well-being?
- Who did students reach out to for help?
- What factors impact students' access to social-emotional support, and how?
In connection with the United Nations’ International Day of Education, UNESCO and IEA publicly released the REDS open access International Report and International Database on 24 January 2022. The launch showcased the data that can build an evidence base for innovative models of learning to assist educational systems as they plan for recovery. Find more information about the release event and speakers here.