With the purpose of analyzing the educational reality and teaching practices that were challenged by the pandemic, and visualizing critical knots in the educational system from the perspective of teachers, SUMMA (Laboratory for Research and Innovation in Education for Latin America and the Caribbean ) carried out the Regional Survey “The Teacher’s Voice, for the right to a fair and inclusive education for Latin America and the Caribbean”, with the support of 21 Ministries of Education and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), within the framework of the Knowledge Exchange and Innovation (KIX) initiative, promoted by the Global Partnership for Education.
In addition to providing a comprehensive and rigorous regional and country diagnosis, the report makes recommendations for the design of educational policies, both in the medium and long term, with a view to the challenges that the pandemic has deepened. The foregoing, including: the recovery of learning, the well-being of educational communities, the greatest pedagogical support for teachers and educational teams, and the urgent reduction of educational gaps exacerbated during the pandemic among students from different contexts, among others.
Main results (regional averages, taking into consideration 21 LAC countries):
- Student attendance decreased during the pandemic, as mostly identified by teachers of students of lower socioeconomic level (SEL). On average, 64.8% of teachers perceive that their students’ attendance decreased during this period.
- The vast majority of teachers (93.4%) observe learning lags in some portion of their students. 26.5% perceive lags in more than half of the students.
- The survey identifies a serious concern among teachers (56.7%) regarding the risk of educational exclusion for students during the pandemic. This risk is perceived as even higher among teachers working in schools with a lower socioeconomic level (SEL) (59.6%) and in those who teach at secondary education levels (74.3%).
- In terms of student well-being, the survey shows that health difficulties due to COVID-19 or other diseases are identified by a significant portion of teachers (37.5%) as the main problem that their students faced during this period and that has hindered their learning process. Additionally, 27.8% mention demotivation or depression.
- From the teachers’ perspective, the greatest difficulties their students faced were Internet connectivity problems (85.1%), low access to electronic resources (77.1%), lack of time for families to help them with school homework (54.7%) and socioeconomic difficulties (54.2%).
- One of the additional pedagogical complexities is that teachers had to adapt pedagogical formats and practices to meet the challenges of remote teaching. The most widely used formats for distance learning were online classes (70.6%), educational videos on YouTube or other platforms (63.6%), and guides in digital and printed format (59.8%).
- Regarding support for teacher professional development, the vast majority of teachers (81.2%) reported having received education or training for distance learning from the Ministry of Education in their country. However, one in five teachers in the region states that they have not received such training.
- Of the total universe of teachers, 37.6% declared that the training was insufficient. Likewise, 13.6% state that they need training, since they have not received it. In other words, 51.2% of teachers express the need to generate more and better opportunities for teacher professional development.