Managing basic education in the aftermath of COVID-19: On education market dynamics and challenges to quality assurance systems
By Marcelo Souto Simão, Anton De Grauwe, and Amélie A. Gagnon
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced authorities worldwide to reevaluate the future of one of the most established social structures: formal school-based education. School closures imposed during confinement suddenly threw family life into disarray, with children at home while adults were either trying to telework or worrying about their income and job security. Distance learning, through a range of technological and non-technological means, enabled learning continuity during school closures – at least in some contexts and for some groups. Elsewhere, however, the inability of schools to adapt their services to the situation resulted in a complete halt of instructional activities. Some private schools fired teachers; others even closed down permanently as a response to families’ refusal or incapacity to pay school fees during lockdown. Now, the sanitary measures that are allowing schools to reopen also entail substantial changes to the daily organization of school and family routines. All this has led to questions about the long-term response of education systems to this crisis. In the face of prolonged periods of partial or total school closure, concerns have also been raised about how to catch up with learning losses and secure educational equity.