School lockdown: damage for everyone is greater than feared

A study on the Netherlands shows that school closings lead to a dramatic loss of education

There is currently no school lockdown, but there have long been plans to cushion this inevitable step as gently as possible.

The Agenda Austria think tank warns, however, that the negative effects will be considerable. Researcher Hanno Lorenz quotes from a study by Oxford University, which looked at the effects of the eight-week school closure in the Netherlands. Coincidentally, shortly before and after the lockdown, the Dutch conducted nationwide tests on around 350,000 students.

Result: The bottom line was that the students had little or no educational progress because of the distance learning; the educational loss was around 20 percent compared to a normal school year. Children from uneducated families had significantly worse scores. The Oxford researchers conclude that countries that were much less prepared for the digital school (such as Austria) will also have significantly worse results.

Great loss of education

“So it shows that distance learning is even more challenging than just using digital media in class. The OECD assumes that the learning loss will be on average a third, from our point of view this estimate would be very optimistic for Austria, ”explains Lorenz. He calls for all measures to be taken to cushion these losses as much as possible. That is not happening at the moment.


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