The COVID-19 Pandemic and Student Learning Outcomes


The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted schooling globally, with potentially devastating long-term consequences for children’s learning and life outcomes. School closures have restricted learning activities to individual homes, while limited digital infrastructure and parent’s inexperience in supporting children’s learning are almost certain to result in learning loss.

However, the effects are unlikely to have affected everyone equally. Children from disadvantaged backgrounds are likely to have suffered more from the closures. Given the financial strain that the pandemic has caused to the government and the public, it is important to identify policies that can effectively mitigate these impacts’ long-term consequences, particularly to those most affected, who are also unlikely to receive sufficient support after schools reopen.

To achieve this, we need to further our understanding beyond the scale of the pandemic’s impact on learning. Identifying the factors that have influenced differences in learning outcomes during the pandemic will strengthen policymaking using research-based evidence.

  1. To measure the scale of learning loss caused by the disruption during the pandemic;
  2. To identify the factors that have influenced the difference in the scale of learning loss between different groups, including those exposed to different policies.

This study uses primary data from RISE’ past studies, collected from before the pandemic began, and data collected during the pandemic. There are two types of information collected for the study:

  1. Student learning assessment results to measure learning outcomes between students, collected periodically; and
  2. Principal and parent surveys to obtain information on the different behaviors and policies each child is exposed to, collected once during school closure and once after schools reopen.

Both types of information will be analyzed together to potentially identify the effect of each factor and policy on learning outcomes during the pandemic.



  1. "Learning Loss or Learning Gain? A Potential Silver Lining to School Closures in Indonesia" Insight Note

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Sudarno Sumarto
Delbert Lim
Team Member 
Niken Rarasati
Arjuni Rahmi Barasa
Florischa Ayu Tresnatri
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Oxford Policy Management and RISE Programme
Type of Service