Journal Article

Impacts of the COVID-19 control measures on widening educational inequalities

July 16, 2021

Young, Vol. 29, Issue 4, pp. 366-380

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COVID-19 has resulted in a global public health crisis. Measures adopted by governments across the world to reduce transmission have resulted in the closure of educational institutions and workplaces and reduced social interaction. The aim of the article is to reflect on the consequences of the COVID-19 global pandemic for the lives of young people from different social groups, with a special focus on education. It is a desk-based review of empirical research that has emerged in the wake of COVID-19 that has explored the impact of the control measures adopted, resulting in ‘learning loss’ and the widening of the ‘learning gap’ among students. The review shows that rather than utilizing the current situation to tackle pre-existing social inequalities in education, current debates often narrowly focus on immediate rather than long-term measures. The article calls for a broader research agenda on the short- and long-term compensatory measures needed to re-engage students, especially those from more disadvantaged backgrounds.