The ability of students in schools to acquire the skill of reading around the world has been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a global study published Tuesday that included 400,000 students in 57 countries.
The authors of the Study of International Progress in Literacy (PIRLS), which has been conducted every five years since 2001 and is led by a global non-profit association whose members are research organizations, confirm that “PIRLS is the first large-scale international assessment based on data collection during the period of the Covid-19 pandemic.” .
The study highlighted the “negative impact of the pandemic”, with “almost half of the students enrolled in schools where regular lessons were suspended for eight weeks or more”.
These suspensions caused reading levels to decline in 21 out of 32 countries with comparable data between 2016 and 2021. Only eight countries out of the 32 countries maintained reading levels, while progress was recorded in this level in three countries.
The majority of EU countries showed a significant drop in reading levels, with an average drop of 11 points compared to 2016.
The levels of 21 countries were higher than those of France, with Singapore (587), Hong Kong (573) and Russia (567) scoring the best. Among the EU countries, Finland (549) and Poland (549) stand out.
In addition, girls’ reading performance was better than boys’ performance in all countries surveyed, with the exception of Spain and the Czech Republic.