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Remediation programs in primary education contribute to reducing learning delays duo to COVID-19

New factsheet by Madelon Jacobs (ROA), Carla Haelermans (ROA) and Martijn Meeter (VU)

Primary school kids

Primary school students are still showing a learning delay after one and a half years of COVID-19, although some of the delay caused by the two previous school closures has been made up. This was revealed by data from the National Cohort Study on Education (NCO) of the National Research Council for Education (NRO) published at the end of October. Researchers from Maastricht University and VU University Amsterdam today published new, additional research in which they conclude that remediation programmes organised by schools for students with the greatest delay have made a positive contribution to reducing the learning delays. Students who participated in remediation programmes made up for more of their earlier delays than non-participants. However, there are differences in the effectiveness of the programmes.

Vulnerable students participate in particular

Participants of remediation programmes are mainly students who suffered a lot of delay during the first school closure. These are often students with a non-western migration background and students with low-educated parents.

Students participating in remediation programmes are catching up

After eighteen months of the COVID-19 pandemic, the learning progress of students in mathematics, reading comprehension and spelling in junior grades is still lower than in previous periods. However, the delay has decreased since the first school closure. Participants in remediation programmes have above all caught up: they have made up more of the delay than non-participants. The effects are greatest for mathematics.

Which programme characteristics contribute positively to learning progression of students?

Programmes that contribute positively to learning growth of students are, for instance, programmes that take place outside regular school hours (instead of during school hours) and existing programmes (instead of newly established programmes).


> Download fact sheet (in Dutch)
> Download technical explanation (in Dutch)

> More about the research (in Dutch)


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