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Status after two years of COVID-19 pandemic: still learning delays, but disadvantage of vulnerable students reduced

4th series of factsheets NCO learning growth

nco lvs factsheets mei 2022

The learning delays that occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic for reading comprehension have disappeared and learning growth has gone back to normal. However, for spelling and mathematics, the learning growth is still lower than before the crisis. Especially children of low and medium educated parents still have lower learning growth than before the pandemic. These are the results of scientific research based on the Netherlands Cohort Study on Education (NCO) of the Netherlands Initiative for Education Research (NRO).

Today, the NCO publishes four new national factsheets. These contain the newest figures on the effect of two years of COVID-19 pandemic, during which Dutch primary schools had to close their doors twice in the first year, whereas in the second year the Christmas holidays were extended by a week and both pupils and teachers very often called in sick or had to quarantine, which led to a lot of missed school time. After two years, we still see a clear effect of the pandemic on the learning growth, which is (much) lower compared to the years before the pandemic.

Still lower learning growth

Reading comprehension seems to be back at the pre-pandemic level. There is no significant delay anymore, whereas after one year of COVID-19 pandemic, the delay in learning growth in this domain was the highest. Although the learning delays for spelling seemed to have been reduced last year, the latest figures show that there still are substantial delays. For mathematics the picture has not changed, there are still delays in learning growth. For spelling and mathematics, the delays in learning growth hold for pupils in all grades (grades 1 to 5).

Educational level parents

Pupils with low and medium educated parents are still hit hardest. Even after two years, they still show the greatest delay in learning progress in the three domains. In previous factsheets, we showed that pupils with low-educated parents experienced more than twice the delay compared to pupils with highly-educated parent. The latest figures show that the different now is slightly more than 1.5 times as big a delay for pupils from low or medium educated parents.

Netherlands Cohort Study on Education (NCO): for and by schools

The Netherlands Cohort Study on Education (NCO) builds a bridge between the education field and the research field. Reliable research is carried out while the research pressure on schools is reduced. At the same time, it provides more useful data and insights to schools. The NCO is an initiative of the Netherlands Initiative for Education Research NRO).

>> More information via Prof. Carla Haelermans, Project leader NCO: carla.haelermans@maastrichtuniversity.nl


Factsheets & poster [in Dutch]

>> More about the NCO factsheets: https://www.nationaalcohortonderzoek.nl/factsheets-leergroei


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