The pro-education non-governmental organization, Educa estimates that school desertion could have increased from 13 to 18% now that most public schools have been closed for in-person learning since March 2020. Educa says before the pandemic, school desertion was already high at around 9%.
Public schools only began to open for in-person learning in April 2021 to close again in May due to the new spike in Covid-19 cases. As of May, private schools have been allowed to decide whether or not they hold in-person learning classes.
But, as Educa had alerted months ago, the shutdown of public schools has had a dramatic impact on the poor. Children in low-income families have had little access to distance learning programs because of a lack of devices or the Internet and a stay-at home tutor.
In a report in Diario Libre, Educa estimated more than 200,000 children have not participated in the 2020-2021 school year. The experts point out that the pandemic-linked dropout trend has turned the spotlight on the long-term consequences for education in the country.
The impact has not been yet quantified. Diario Libre reports that despite requests, the Ministry of Education could not provide data on the number of children that were not participating in the distance learning programs.
In an editorial on Tuesday, 8 June 2021, Benjamin Morales of Diario Libre calls the distance learning programs enacted by the Ministry of Education “a disaster.”
Read more in Spanish:
8 June 2021