Our New Report on Documentation of Education Response in Türkiye during the COVID-19 Pandemic and its Effect on Children's Access to and Retention in Education is Published
The report, "Documentation of Education Response in Türkiye during the Covid-19 Pandemic and its Effect on Children's Access to and Retention in Education", prepared for UNICEF Türkiye, presents a comprehensive examination of the education landscape during the COVID-19 pandemic in Türkiye, drawing on a range of data sources and utilizing a combination of quantitative and qualitative research methods. It provides valuable insights into the challenges faced by various stakeholders, learning losses experienced by children, risk factors for school dropouts, socioeconomic influences on school attendance, barriers to education access, implemented policies and programs, and recommendations for further policy development, implementation, and programming.
The COVID-19 pandemic caused significant disruptions in face-to-face education, leading to learning losses and decreased education outcomes for children worldwide. Turkey experienced longer school closures compared to other countries, with schools fully or partially closed for 49 weeks in 2020 and 2021. The government implemented measures such as remote education through online platforms to ensure continuous access to education. However, challenges remained, particularly regarding access to the internet, digital devices, and educational platforms, which disproportionately affected children in rural areas, disadvantaged households, and refugee children.
To conduct the study, a mixed-methods approach was employed, which involved reviewing and analyzing existing data and documents, as well as collecting primary qualitative data through stakeholder interviews and expert input. The methodological tools used include (i) desk review, (ii) quantitative data analysis, specifically analyzing data from the Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) 2018 and the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2018, as well as conducting microsimulations of learning losses, and (iii) qualitative data collection and analysis through key informant interviews (KIIs) with stakeholders.
The report extensively examines the obstacles faced by children, teachers, and parents in accessing remote teaching and learning in Türkiye during the 2020 and early 2021 school years. It thoroughly investigates home learning environments and identifies the existing vulnerabilities in the education system. Moreover, the report provides a comprehensive estimation of the learning losses experienced by children, taking into account their respective home learning environments. It delves into identifying risk factors associated with school dropouts and provides insights into the characteristics of children at the highest risk of disengaging from education. The report also explores the link between household socioeconomic status and children's school attendance, shedding light on the influence of socioeconomics on educational outcomes. In the final chapter, the report examines the policies and programs implemented to mitigate the adverse effects of COVID-19 on children's education outcomes and it outlines the areas that require further attention and development regarding policy, implementation, and programming.