Earlier this month, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development released this report.
One Year into the COVID Pandemic
In 2020, 1.5 billion students in 188 countries/economies were locked out of their schools. Students everywhere have been faced with schools that are open one day and closed the next, causing massive disruption to their learning.
With the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic still raging, many education systems are still struggling, and the situation is constantly evolving. The OECD – in collaboration with UNESCO, UNICEF and The World Bank – has been monitoring the situation across countries and collecting data on how each system is responding to the crisis, from school closures and remote learning, to teacher vaccination and gradual returns to in-class instruction.
This report presents the preliminary findings from this survey, providing a snapshot of the situation one year into the COVID crisis.
A highlight of the Canadian references included in the report:
- There were countrywide school closures in 23 countries, while a further 10 countries closed schools at sub-national or local levels (Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, Poland and the Slovak Republic), mainly because the pandemic context varied regionally. These sub-regional variations may have been significant in some countries.
- Wider range of instruments: Some 56% of the countries reported using four or five of the solutions surveyed. Austria, Belgium (Flemish Community and French Community), Canada, Costa Rica, France, Germany, Israel, Japan, Korea, Latvia, New Zealand, Portugal, the Russian Federation, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland and Turkey are the countries in this group. In addition to online platforms, television or take home packages, these countries also more commonly reported using mobile phones. All these measures were reported for all levels of education in this group of countries. In this group only Canada, Costa Rica and France did not report using mobile phones. Some countries in this group reported relying on the radio or other distance-learning solutions, which was in most cases for all levels of education as well.
- Thirteen countries reported a normal return to class schedules and school attendance at primary level after the first period of school closures in 2020. Of those, eleven re-opened in May or June, while in two others (Canada and Turkey) most schools across the country remained closed until the start of the following academic year. With the exception of New Zealand, all of these countries are in the Northern Hemisphere with summer holidays beginning around the end of June.
- In Canada, the impact on university revenues has been estimated to be between USD 377 million and UDS 3.4 billion (or 0.8-7.5% of projected revenues) in 2020/2021 (STATCAN, 2020).
- The pandemic has also had an effect on the labour market which, in some countries, has led to an increase in the demand for higher education. In response, countries such as Finland, Norway and Sweden allocated additional resources to make room for more students in higher education. Other countries such as Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States have put in place measures which include increasing the amount of student loans and providing additional support to students to cover extra course related costs (OECD, 2020).
- In almost half of the systems, schools could make decisions about teaching/working arrangements. These decisions concern a variety of elements such as the number of working hours or requirements for teachers to be present at schools even without students. In Belgium, the Netherlands, Poland, the Russian Federation, and the Slovak Republic schools had full autonomy. In Chile, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Norway, and Slovenia, schools made these decisions within a framework set by a local, regional, or central authority. Teaching and working arrangements were decided by central governments in Austria, Colombia, Costa Rica, France, Israel, Latvia, Portugal, and Turkey, and by state governments in Canada, Germany and Switzerland.
Canada is also included in the following tables and figures:
- Figure 1.1 on page 8
- Figure 1.4 on page 11
- Table 2.1 on page 16
- Table 2.2 on page 19
- Table 3.2 on page 24
- Figure 6.1 on page 41
- Table 6.1 on page 42
- Table 7.1 on page 45
- Table 7.2 on page 47
Be sure to take a look at the full report at: