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Education Analytics Service: Teacher Development Multi-Year Studies – Impact of COVID-19 on Teaching Practices in Lao PDR, Timor-Leste and Vanuatu: A Discussion Paper for Practitioners and Policymakers

Summary of publication

The COVID-19 pandemic caused significant disruptions to education systems around the world. Many governments responded abruptly, quickly closing schools and transitioning to home learning. This paper explores the impact of extended school closures due to COVID-19 on teaching and student learning in three countries – Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Laos), Timor-Leste and Vanuatu.

This research extends the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT)’s multi-year Teacher Development Studies, which are commissioned under the Evaluation Analytics Service (EAS). This study series involves the investigation of DFAT-funded teacher development initiatives in Laos, Timor-Leste and Vanuatu to understand the extent to which the investments have improved teaching quality and student learning. In 2021, regular data collection for the study was extended to include COVID-19 impact questions, thereby providing an opportunity to understand a wide range of education stakeholder perspectives on their experience of transitioning and implementing home learning, the impact on teaching practices and student learning, and the level of support teachers were provided during the pandemic.

Stakeholders from across the three countries found immense challenges transitioning and adapting to home learning, thereby providing insights into system-wide capacities in preparing for and responding to crises, and specifically in the case of implementing an effective home learning strategy during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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