- Learning loss of developing Asia amounts to US $1.25tn
- Students stand to lose 2.4% decline in expected annual earnings
Students in South Asia are most impacted due to closures stemming from the global pandemic and have lost 55 percent of a year in learning since COVID-19 struck.
The Asian Development Outlook 2021 that was launched earlier today highlighted that for developing Asia as a whole, the present value of the future earning loss adds up to an estimated US $1.25 trillion, which is equivalent to 5.4 percent of the region’s GDP in 2020.
“Learning losses will substantially reduce future productivity and earnings. Estimates show that students affected by school closures stand to lose an average of US $180 or a 2.4 percent decline in expected annual earnings,” the report said.
Students in East Asia lost 39 percent of a year in learning, whereas students in Southeast Asia lost 35 percent, and Central Asia lost 24 percent.
However, students in the Pacific were least impacted with a relatively lower loss of 8 percent as schools in that region managed to stay open for most of the year.
ADB stressed that learning and earning losses will rise the longer that schools remain closed.
Necessary are policies to help mitigate the potential damage and ensure that education systems emerge from this pandemic better than they were before, it said.
In a more optimistic scenario for the effectiveness of remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, total losses are equivalent to US $0.8 trillion (3.6 percent of 2020 GDP). However, the ADB pointed out that a pessimistic scenario puts the losses at US $1.8 trillion (7.6 percent of GDP).