Impact of Education Disruptions: Europe and Central Asia – March 2022 – Turkey

On average, schools in Eastern Europe and Central Asia have been completely closed for 14 weeks, as of February 28, 2022, according to UNESCO’s Global School Closure Tracker. By the end of February 2022, about one-fifth of countries in the region experienced durations of complete school closures longer than the global average of 20 weeks.

The total duration of school closures (fully closed and partially closed) ranges from 0 weeks in Belarus to 54 weeks in North Macedonia. Schoolchildren across the region have lost 50 billion hours of in-person learning.

Before COVID, and among countries with data, the proportion of children able to read simple text ranged from 36% in Kyrgyzstan to 98% in Kazakhstan. A growing body of evidence shows substantial losses and worsening inequalities in learning outcomes following COVID-related school closures.

In a pessimistic scenario, students in Europe and Central Asia could lose around 1 year of learning-adjusted schooling. In Krasnoyarsk, Russia, 6th graders lost the equivalent of 3-4 months of language learning, while 8th graders lost the equivalent of 1.5 years of science literacy. School closures in the region have long-term implications for its learners: Current learners in Europe and Central Asia could lose more than $4 trillion in future income.

Helen D. Jessen