REDS Results

Achievement and test scales

REDS has no achievement scales.

Questionnaire and background scales

Responses from the student background questionnaire were used to construct a scale of socioeconomic status (SES). The factors included in the construction of the scale include the number of books at home, parents’ highest level of education, parents’ highest occupational status, language spoken at home most of the time, as well as a bundle of commodities/goods for learning (e.g., availability of internet, quiet place for learning, number of ICT devices).

Rasch modelling (senate-weighted partial credit model) was used to scale. To handle nonresponse, the scale was not estimated for students who did not answer at least half of the questions included in the scale.

Multivariate imputation by chained equations (MICE) was used to assign predicted values to those students who answered more than half (but not all) questions.

The scale was rescaled so that it has an international average of 50 across all countries with a standard deviation of 10 points. Based on the distribution of the scores on the scale, the continuous scale was divided into three ordinal categories. The ordinal categories were constructed by dividing the scale into lower, middle, and upper thirds of the scale score distributions (weighted). It is thus an empirical division of cut scores rather than an interpretation of the items.



Students’ Home Resources and Socioeconomic Background Scale (SES) - The name in the international database is

  • “SES_irt” (continuous scale) and
  • “SES_irt_c” (ordinal scale).
Overview of key study results

School closures

  • All 11 countries that participated in REDS reported at least one period of physical school closure in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, during which most schools were closed for the majority of students.
  • The periods of school closure varied within and across countries,
    • Mostly starting in the Northern Hemisphere in spring 2020, and
    • Lasting from one to two months in the Russian Federation and Denmark to almost a year in the United Arab Emirates.


Continuity of teaching and learning

  • In Burkina Faso, Rwanda, Kenya, Ethiopia, and India, a varying proportion of school leaders reported that their schools did not offer any teaching and learning provisions during the disruption.
  • In the remaining six REDS countries, all schools reported having continued to offer teaching and learning provisions during the disruption.
    • The majority of teachers in these countries reported that they narrowed the focus of their teaching to the essential components of the curriculum and taught highly modified components of the practical curriculum.
  • Most teachers reported that they were open to innovation and shifting priorities in the future and that they believed new approaches to teaching and learning will continue to be important after the pandemic.


Perceived decline in student learning progress

  • Both principals and teachers reported the perception that student learning was impeded during the disruption.
  • More than 50% of teachers in all countries stated that students had not progressed to the extent that they would have normally expected at that time of year.
  • However, students’ perceptions were more varied in this regard. While more than half of students in most countries reported learning about as much during the disruption as they did before, about half of the students across countries also agreed that it became more difficult to know how they were progressing.


Help and support for students

  • In most countries, students received help from their parents or teachers with learning topics during the disruption.
  • Nonetheless, there was still a significant percentage of students who, at least some of the time, had no one at all available who could help them with their schoolwork.
  • Many teachers acknowledged their role as important supporters of students and their parents on multiple topics regarding learning and beyond. Many students agreed they had one or more teachers whom they felt comfortable asking for help.
  • Most teachers across countries agreed that it was difficult to provide lower-achieving and vulnerable students with the support they required.


School responses to the threat to well-being

  • Students and teachers reported declines in their well-being during the disruption to schooling.
  • In most countries, over 50% of students agreed that they were feeling overwhelmed by what was happening in the world due to the pandemic and that they were anxious about the changes to their schooling.
  • At the same time, in countries where teaching and learning continued during the disruption, teacher workload generally increased.
  • However, teachers agreed that they felt supported by the school leadership and by their colleagues, and most students reported feeling supported and part of their school.
  • When considering the future, the majority of school principals in most countries reported increased priorities for promoting student and staff well-being.


Preparedness for future disruptions

  • The perceptions of students and school principals regarding preparedness of their school for future disruptions varied substantially across countries.
  • A significant percentage of students in all participating countries did not feel well prepared or felt not prepared at all for such an event in the future.


Vulnerable students

  • Students with low SES were:
    • More likely to worry about their future education and falling behind in learning.
    • Less confident in completing schoolwork independently.
    • More likely to not feel prepared for school closures.
  • Teachers’ responses confirmed:
    • A reduced capacity to manage the needs of vulnerable students, and
    • Higher declines in learning progress, including students with special needs, and students with a migration background.
  • Gender gaps were not consistent and all in all less pronounced.
Sources - Report(s) of results