How has our Perspective on the Importance of Education Changed After the Pandemic?

Conference: The Paris Conference on Education (PCE2022)
Title: How has our Perspective on the Importance of Education Changed After the Pandemic?
Stream: Educational Policy, Leadership, Management & Administration
Presentation Type: Live-Stream Presentation
Cristina Vilaplana-Prieto, University of Murcia, Spain


The objective of this paper is to analyze the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on the consideration of the importance of education in the society. Using a difference in differences strategy and representative survey data from 28 European countries: the Eurobarometers 91.5 (June-July 2019) and 93.1 (July-August 2020), we estimate the impact of the pandemic (approximated by regional mortality) over perception of education, both from a personal and country-wide perspective. The results show that the pandemic has provoked a deep rift in society, generating two different worlds. One “world” composed by the unemployed, immigrants, those still in school, and those from working class backgrounds, who think that education is no longer one of the country's fundamental concerns. Even more troubling is the fact that at the personal level, in households with children, the unemployed and working class feel that they have other more important concerns. The other “world”, made up by the more educated, express an increase in their personal concern for education, Parents with better economic status and more stable jobs have been able to invest more in their children's education during the pandemic and have become more involved in their children's learning. As recommendations to try to close this gap, it would be necessary to take advantage of the return to face-to-face teaching to create support and reinforcement groups, endow schools with spaces and resources where students can study and do work outside class hours and prepare professionals to offer educational and psychological attention to students.

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