The Impacts of Remote Learning in Secondary Education during the Pandemic in Brazil
41 Pages Posted: 10 May 2021 Last revised: 16 Oct 2021
Date Written: October 14, 2021
The transition to remote learning in the context of COVID-19 might have led to dramatic setbacks in education. Taking advantage of the fact that São Paulo State featured in-person classes for most of the first school quarter of 2020, but not thereafter, we estimate the effects of remote learning in secondary education using a differences-in-differences strategy that contrasts variation in students’ outcomes across different school quarters, before and during the pandemic. We also estimate intention-to-treat (ITT) effects of reopening schools in the pandemic through a tripledifferences strategy, contrasting changes in educational outcomes across municipalities and grades that resumed in-person classes or not over 2020’s last school quarter. We find that, under remote learning, dropout risk increased by 365% and test scores decreased by 0.32 s.d., as if students had only learned 27.5% of the in-person equivalent. Partially resuming in-person classes increased test scores by 20% relative to the control group.
Keywords: Remote learning; Secondary education; School closures; COVID-19
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