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What Is Learner Loss?

Home schooling
Pupil Using Laptop

What's the 411 on Learner Loss?

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted students worldwide, leading to a phenomenon commonly referred to as "learner loss." Learner loss encompasses the academic, social, and emotional setbacks experienced by students due to disruptions in their education caused by the pandemic. The sudden shift to remote learning, closure of schools, and limited access to resources and support have contributed to this loss.

Academically, students have faced challenges in maintaining their learning progress. Remote learning often lacks the structure and interactive nature of traditional classrooms, making it difficult for some students to stay engaged and focused. The absence of face-to-face interactions with teachers and peers has hindered collaborative learning, reducing opportunities for discussion, questioning, and clarifying doubts. Additionally, the digital divide and unequal access to technology and internet connectivity have further exacerbated the learning gaps among students.

Beyond academic setbacks, the pandemic has taken a toll on students' social and emotional well-being. The abrupt disruption of routines, separation from friends, and the increased sense of isolation have led to feelings of loneliness, anxiety, and stress. The lack of in-person interactions and extracurricular activities has affected the development of social skills, emotional intelligence, and overall mental health. This has further impeded students' ability to fully engage in their education and reach their potential.

Addressing learner loss requires comprehensive support systems and interventions. Schools and educational institutions are adapting by providing online learning platforms, virtual classrooms, and remote support services. Efforts are being made to bridge the digital divide and ensure equitable access to technology. Additionally, schools are implementing mental health programs, counseling services, and creating opportunities for social interaction to address the social and emotional well-being of students.

BLE's Catapult

Data shows that BLE students kept learning and improving and did not experience the learning loss seen across the nation due to quarantines, illness, teacher shortages, safety concerns, or natural disasters.


The setback to a system already in trouble.

Children lost about 35% of a normal school year's worth of learning during the pandemic, study suggests. A new paper adds to the mounting evidence that school-age children across the globe experienced significant setbacks in their learning progress during the Covid-19 pandemic

Global Stats

McKinsey & Company

Numerous studies have indicated that the pandemic has resulted in significant learning loss for students, particularly in core subjects like math and reading. According to a report by McKinsey & Company, students in the United States may have lost 3-4 months of learning in math and 1-2 months in reading by the end of the 2020-2021 school year.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

Learner loss has disproportionately affected marginalized students and those from low-income backgrounds. Limited access to technology, internet connectivity, and resources have exacerbated existing educational inequalities. According to a UNESCO report, an estimated 1.6 billion learners globally experienced disruptions in their education, and many students in low-income countries faced additional challenges in accessing remote learning.

Case Studies

The pandemic has had a significant impact on the mental health of teenagers. Studies have shown an increase in stress, anxiety, depression, and feelings of social isolation among students. These challenges have further affected their ability to engage in learning effectively.


High school graduation rates have also been impacted by the pandemic. The National Student Clearinghouse Research Center reported that high school enrollment dropped during the pandemic, and the number of students completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) decreased significantly, indicating potential disruptions to college plans.

Case Studies

The pandemic has disrupted social interactions, extracurricular activities, and the overall school environment, leading to challenges in the development of social and emotional skills among teenagers. The absence of peer interactions and support systems has affected their overall well-being.

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