An interesting recent report from McKinsey reveals that students´ learning in the US fell in major subjects: leaving children five months behind in mathematics and four months behind in reading. As well as this they also, as everywhere around the world, experienced social-emotional as well as mental health challenges. The analysis suggests that the earning potential of students might well be impacted resulting in earning “$49,000 to $61,000 less over their lifetime owing to the impact of the pandemic on their schooling” unless something is done to address their “unfinished learning”. When this figure is extrapolated to the US economy the loss could add up to $128 billion to $188 billion each year, as this age group moves into the workforce. But for now the priority is to reopen schools and tackle the unfinished learning. Unless steps are taken to support and address this aspect on lost learning there is the potential risk that many children will be “finishing school without the skills, behaviors, and mindsets to succeed in college or in the workforce”. On the positive side, however, this is also an opportunity to rethink what the education systems should look like. These challenges are not unique to the US, and every country will experience this effect to a greater or lesser extent, therefore the impact on learning in the last 18 months will be felt across the global economy. If no acceptable ideas come to light to address the current issues and expected effect, as a society we will be left rueing the missed opportunity for many years and decades to come.

#education #lostopportunity