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PISA in Focus

PISA in Focus is a series of monthly education policy-oriented notes designed to describe a PISA topic in a concise, user-friendly way.

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Were schools equipped to teach – and were students ready to learn – remotely?

The COVID-19 crisis continues to impact education globally. According to UNESCO in mid-April 2020, 194 countries had closed schools nationwide, affecting almost 1.6 billion learners. By August 2020, there were still 105 country-wide closures affecting over a billion learners. Many educators have worked hard to sustain student learning and well-being. The form, intensity and success of those efforts vary across countries/economies, but digital technologies have emerged as a crucial prerequisite for success.

Digital technologies offer the potential to provide new opportunities and alternative approaches for learning. They can shape what people learn, how they learn, where they learn and when they learn and, especially, the type of interactions between teachers and students. However, the COVID-19 crisis arose at a time when most education systems were unprepared to make the most of the potential of digital technologies. This PISA in Focus looks at how prepared schools and students were to be learning remotely.

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