Earlier this month, a study published in the International Journal of Educational Research revealed that, as opposed to their American counterparts, Swedish children did not suffer any significant learning loss during the pandemic. The manuscript’s abstract says:
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to worldwide school closures, with a risk of learning loss. Sweden kept primary schools open, but it is unknown whether student and teacher absence and pandemic-related stress factors affected teaching and student progress negatively. In this study, reading assessment data from 97,073 Swedish primary school students (grades 1-3) were analysed to investigate potential learning loss. Results showed that word decoding and reading comprehension scores were not lower during the pandemic compared to before the pandemic, that students from low socio-economic backgrounds were not especially affected, and that the proportion of students with weak decoding skills did not increase during the pandemic. Study limitations are discussed. We conclude that open schools benefitted Swedish primary school students.
In the early months of the COVID-19 outbreak, Sweden was widely slandered in the media for having the audacity to do the opposite of other Western countries, such as keep schools and other public institutions open including have voluntary quarantines. Not surprisingly, the smears against the Scandinavian country continue to this day.
But now, as the appalling harm that school closures inflicted on American kids becomes widely recognized, Sweden’s approach increasingly turns out to have been the right approach that even the World Health Organization praised in the end. So-called public-health experts, like Anthony Fauci and Ari Emanuel, could take lessons from this if they were capable of critical self-examination. But don’t count on it.