Socioeconomic inequalities in learning opportunities, educational achievement, and mental health: impact of COVID-19 school lockdown in Ghana

Edward M. Sosu, Sofia M. Pimenta, Nana Yaa Nyarko, Isaac Mepenedo, Diane Fleischer-Djoleto

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Abstract

Globally, the COVID-19 pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on children’s education, with about 90% of children being affected by school closures worldwide (UNESCO, 2020a, 2020b). Prior to the pandemic, there were significant inequalities in children’s achievement across the educational life course, with students from lower socioeconomic (SES) backgrounds achieving lower outcomes than their high SES peers (Miller et al., 2015; Sosu & Schmidt, 2017; Wolf & McCoy, 2019; Nyatsikor et al., 2020). The COVID-19 pandemic and associated school closures are expected to exacerbate socioeconomic gaps in children’s learning, achievement, and wellbeing (e.g., Andrew et al., 2020; Sabates et al., 2021; Schult et al., 2021; UN, 2020). Emerging evidence on the impact of the pandemic indicates SES inequalities in children’s engagement with home and online learning (Allen & Wespieser, 2021; Kuhfeld et al., 2020; The DELVE Initiative, 2020) and mental health during school closures (Dewa et al., 2020; Silva Junior et al., 2020; Young Minds, 2020). There were also SES differences in school attendance after schools reopened, with lower SES children more likely to miss school (Sosu & Klein, 2021). This has increased concerns about the long-term educational and wellbeing impacts of the pandemic on all children, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationGlasgow
PublisherUniversity of Strathclyde
Number of pages19
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 11 Oct 2021

Keywords

  • Covid-19
  • learning and teaching
  • children's education
  • Ghana

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