MPC Minnesota Population Centre, University of Minnesota
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the education of over 1.5 billion students globally. A majority of students live in countries where schools were either fully closed or were operational only through remote access. As school disruptions are likely to have lasting impacts on children’s human capital accumulation, data documenting how schools and households have adapted to this new learning environment have the potential to provide information on how to curb the adverse effects of school closures on children’s educational progress.
Using a telephone survey, the RISE Vietnam country research team (CRT) collected data from 134 school principals from a nationally representative sample of 140 primary schools (a response rate of 95.7 percent). A telephone survey was also conducted of 2,389 parents of Grade 3 and 4 students enrolled in these 140 primary schools; this survey covers all 140 schools, with an average of 17 parents per school. Principals were asked what schools did to provide instruction while schools were closed in early 2020, while parents were interviewed regarding children’s weekday activities as well as the types of instruction the children received during this period. The telephone interviews with school principals and parents were conducted between July and September of 2020.
In 2020, Vietnam was in many ways an outlier in that it flattened its epidemic curve early in that year, thereby allowing schools to reopen as early as May 4, 2020—roughly three months after schools were first directed to shut down. Vietnam’s schools continued to stay open and ended its 2019-2020 school year towards the end of June. While the period of school closure in Vietnam was brief, the country’s example may provide lessons for other nations that faced, and are still facing, the educational consequences of the pandemic.
Chua, K. and Glewwe, P. 2023. Learning Environments Under COVID-induced School Closures: Evidence from Vietnam. 2023/056. https://doi.org/10.35489/BSG-RISE-RI_2023/056