COVID-19 school closures and adolescent mental health: Evidence from Mozambique
BY JESSICA LEIGHT AND NAUREEN KARACHIWALLA
Since March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to prolonged school closures around the world that have disrupted the educational progression of hundreds of millions of students. According to UNESCO, these closures peaked around June 2020, at which point 50% of all students worldwide—more than 800 million—were out of school. Particularly in developing countries, where schools are a crucial path out of poverty (and there is little technology for learning at a distance), the absence of formal education over a long period of time has strong implications for students’ learning, health, and well-being (Engzell et al, 2021). Moreover, during this same period children were potentially exposed to widespread household-level shocks linked to illness, disrupted livelihoods, and challenges in access to food and other subsistence goods.
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