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Learning Loss and Learning Inequality During the Covid-19 Pandemic

Bartholo, T.L.; Koslinski, M.; Tymms, P.B.; de Castro, D.L.

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T.L. Bartholo

M. Koslinski

D.L. de Castro


This paper evaluates the effects of school closure during the Covid-19 pandemic on learning loss and learning inequalities in Rio de Janeiro. It presents longitudinal data for 671 children (5/6 years old) enrolled in the second year of preschool (compulsory Education in Brazil) in two cohorts (2019 and 2020). All children were assessed at the start and end of the school year, and value-added models were used to estimate the impact of school closure from April to December 2020 on language and mathematics development. Results suggest a learning loss of 0.23 and 0.25 standard deviations for language and mathematics. This equates to children having learned around 65% of what they would have in face-to-face interactions. Those from low socioeconomic status families were more affected; they learned only 48% of what they would have in normal conditions. Results suggest an increase in learning inequalities during the 2020 academic year. Implications for policy and the need for an Education recovery plan focused on disadvantaged children are discussed.


Bartholo, T., Koslinski, M., Tymms, P., & de Castro, D. (2023). Learning Loss and Learning Inequality During the Covid-19 Pandemic. Ensaio (Rio de Janeiro. Online), 31(119), 1-24.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Aug 10, 2022
Online Publication Date Sep 16, 2022
Publication Date 2023
Deposit Date Jun 30, 2022
Publicly Available Date May 18, 2023
Journal Ensaio: Avaliação e Políticas Públicas em Educação
Print ISSN 0104-4036
Electronic ISSN 1809-4465
Publisher Ingroup Tecnologia e Servicos
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 31
Issue 119
Article Number e0223776
Pages 1-24


Published Journal Article (605 Kb)

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Copyright Statement
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License, which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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