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How Schools Have Been Navigating COVID-19: Evidence from Across Nations

How Schools Have Been Navigating COVID-19: Evidence from Across Nations

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‘Primary and Secondary Education during COVID-19,’ an international volume recently published in open access by Springer, shares accounts by research teams from over a dozen countries of how systems of general education in these respective nations have been steering through a challenging environment of the COVID pandemic.

‘Primary and Secondary Education during COVID-19’ is arguably the first international comparative study to provide comprehensive yet conclusive in-depth insights into the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on school education.

The volume brings together case studies that feature national policy perspectives on how education systems across the globe have responded to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Edited by Fernando M. Reimers, a Professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Harvard University, USA, the book covers an expanse as wide and diverse as Brazil, Chile, Finland, Japan, Mexico, Norway, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, Spain, South Africa, the UK, the US, and beyond.

The volume chapters focus on learning loss and how the pandemic has otherwise afflicted general schooling, as well as on windows of opportunity, silver linings, and gains.

A site of particular emphasis is the pandemic-induced disruptions and their impacts on educational opportunities for less privileged students.

The PDF version of the volume

The chapter that recaps findings from the study of how Russian schools have been able to get into the swing of and navigate the new COVID-19 reality has been prepared by Sergey Kosaretsky, Sergey Zair-Bek, Yuliya Kersha, and Roman Zvyagintsev of the IOE Center for General and Extracurricular Education.  

CHAPTER 9. General Education in Russia during COVID-19: Readiness, Policy Response, and Lessons Learned


In this chapter, we analyze nationwide measures taken in Russia to organize the education system during the pandemic. We show the opportunities and limitations for responses associated relative to the previous policy phase. Special attention is paid to the peculiarities of a system reaction to the situation of a pandemic in a federative country with heterogeneous regions. In contrast to several other countries that adopted a single national strategy, different scenarios were implemented in Russian regions. We investigate the factors that influenced the scenarios and management decisions at the national and regional levels of the country. We highlight differences in the nature and dynamics of measures taken to organize learning in the first (spring–summer 2020) and second (autumn–winter 2020) waves of the pandemic. We also analyze the subjective experience and wellbeing of students and teachers during a pandemic. As the empirical base, we use data from several large sociological studies conducted in the Russian Federation over the past six months on the issues of school closures, distance learning, and the “new normal.” This provides a new perspective for studying the increasing education gap between children with different socioeconomic status due to the pandemic.

The full chapter