Learning on Hold

The toll of COVID-19 school closures on Mozambique’s foundational literacy

Three children help each other carry water from the well of the health center


In Mozambique, the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in widespread school closures, significantly impacting students and schools across the country.

An analysis of pre- and post-pandemic reading skills, using data from the nationally-representative Avaliação Longitudinal da Desistência Escolar (ALDE, Longitudinal Assessment of School Dropout) survey reveals significant learning losses in basic literacy skills. Specifically, students in Grades 3-4 exhibited reduced proficiency in letter identification in 2021 compared to their counterparts in 2019.

These findings underscore the negative consequences of COVID-19-related school closures on foundational literacy in Mozambique.

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Sophia Kan; Rafael Pontuschka
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