Evaluating pandemic implications is key to mitigate the upcoming setback, believes Harry Anthony Patrinos, the Practice Manager for Europe and Central Asia of the World Bank's Education Global Practice.
During his speech at the section Economy and Management in Early Childhood Education, Mr. Patrinos reviewed UNESCO studies related to COVID-19 influence on the educational system and on forecasts of future developments.
Harry Anthony Patrinos told the audience that 192 countries shut down schools, kindergartens and universities in mid-2020—overall, over 90% of learners were hit, i.e., 1.5 bn children of various ages.
Hence, this caused a drop in education investment, which may lead to a significant harm done to the quality of education and to further development paths of today’s preschoolers, pupils, and students.
“If we want more people to go to university, we must invest more heavily in preschool institutions,” stressed Harry Anthony Patrinos.
He clarified that there are different scenarios in place of how the situation would develop; introduction of online education, however, is likely to mitigate negative implications of closed educational organizations.
“Our teachers are doing all the possible to minimize the impact of these factors,” shared the expert.
He reminded the audience that the decreased quality of education will affect the economy and the psychic health of citizens; problems related to preschool education and care will inevitably come to the foreground.
Alleviating the losses requires more investment in the education system; we should regularly test the knowledge level of children, develop new programs and put more emphasis on teachers. “According to our data, support of teachers will positively impact academic achievements of their students, which also means our future,” summed up Mr. Patrinos.