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Potential long-term consequences of school closures: Lessons from the 2013-2016 Ebola pandemic

Resource type
Report
Author/contributor
Title
Potential long-term consequences of school closures: Lessons from the 2013-2016 Ebola pandemic
Abstract
Abstract The COVID-19 pandemic has seen an unprecedented shutdown of society. Nearly 1.725 billion children across the globe have been affected as over 95% of countries closed schools as the virus spread in April 2020. Much attention has been given to school closures as non-pharmaceutical mitigation tools to stem the spread of the disease through ensuring social distancing. Within education, focus has been given to keep students connected through remote learning and the immediate needs of schools upon reopening. This study takes a longer-term view. Using Demographic Health Surveys and Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys from before and after the 2013-2016 Ebola outbreak in Guinea and Sierra Leone, this study examines changes in enrolment and dropout patterns, with targeted consideration given to traditionally marginalized groups. With schools closed for seven and nine months in the two countries, the length and intensity of the Ebola pandemic is the only health crises in the past century to come close to the school closures being experienced in 2020. Findings suggest that youth in the poorest households see the largest increase in dropout rates post-Ebola and that this impact can persist for years. Two years after being declared Ebola-free an additional 22,000 of the poorest secondary age youth remained out of school than would have been expected based on the pre-outbreak dropout rate. To halt the likely expansion in inequality post-pandemic, these results point to the need for longer term, sustainable planning that includes comprehensive financial support packages to groups most likely to be impacted.
Report Type
preprint
Institution
In Review
Date
2020-08-04
Language
en
Short Title
Potential long-term consequences of school closures
Accessed
2020-08-12T17:03:48Z
Library Catalog
DOI.org (Crossref)
Extra
DOI: 10.21203/rs.3.rs-51400/v1
Citation
Smith, W. C. (2020). Potential long-term consequences of school closures: Lessons from the 2013-2016 Ebola pandemic [Preprint]. In Review. https://doi.org/10.21203/rs.3.rs-51400/v1