RISE Research Public Webinar: The Longer-term Implications of COVID-19 on Education and What to Prioritise When Kids Return to School


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On the 23 June 2020 at 10:00-11:30am Eastern Daylight Time (EDT), the Research on Improving Systems of Education (RISE) Programme hosted a public research webinar to discuss ground-breaking new work that points to the longer-term implications of the COVID-19 pandemic shock on children and how education systems should set priorities to mitigate these effects when schools reopen.

Watch the event recording here:

About the event

The COVID-19 pandemic has had dramatic effects on lives and education systems, prompting school closures around the world and emergency responses that try to support the continuation of learning. But in the long-term, the effects of crisis will be severe and especially in low and middle-income countries. Up to a decade of progress in poverty reduction could be undone, millions could go without preventable treatment for disease and vaccines, and millions of children could fall further behind in school, with devastating effects on life outcomes. One serious risk is that temporary school closures turn into large, long-term, learning deficiencies for today’s children, especially if schools immediately return to “business as usual” when they reopen.

A recent paper by Jishnu Das and other colleagues on the RISE Pakistan Research Team holds important lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic. It suggests that short term school closures will have long lasting effects, and that learning losses can continue to accumulate after children return to school, as the curriculum races ahead and they struggle to catch-up. But these losses are not inevitable. Pratham CEO Rukmini Banerji has pioneered efforts to assess children’s learning and build up their foundational skills from where they are. If countries act now to plan and adapt teaching to student’s actual levels when they re-enter schools, long-term learning losses can be (more than) avoided.

In this online discussion, Banerji and Das will discuss the implications of their work and experience for education systems response to COVID-19. What are the likely long-term consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on learning and education systems? How should educations systems plan to re-open in ways which minimise learning loss? And what opportunities does this crisis present to “build back better” to raise learning outcomes for all children?

Speaker Bios


  • Luis Crouch - RISE Directorate, RISE Intellectual Leadership Team, RTI International


  • Dr Rukmini Banerji - RISE Intellectual Leadership Team, CEO of Pratham Education Foundation
  • Professor Dr Jishnu Das - Principal Investigator of the RISE Pakistan Country Research Team, Professor at Georgetown University