The impact of COVID-19 school closures on learning outcomes: Evidence from Vietnam


In view of the detrimental effect that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on health, most countries

have implemented lockdown and school closures to contain the pandemic. It is estimated that nearly 1.6 billion students in over 180 countries, including Vietnam, were affected by school closures. However, there have not been any studies examining the effects of COVID-19 school closures on a variety of learning and education outcomes in Vietnam.

MDRI conducted a study to estimate the effects of school closures due to COVID-19 on students’ education outcomes across Vietnam. It collected data on cognitive skills, educational equipment and materials, expenditure on education, time spent on housework, learning and private tutoring, and health. The sample of the project contained 1,117 Grade 7 students (school year 2023-2024) and 812 Grade 12 students (school year 2022-2023) who previously joined the Research to Improve Education System in Vietnam (RISE) across 23 provinces nationwide. The longitudinal data collected from the RISE project and this project is expected to reveal differences in students’ learning outcomes before and after the COVID-19 pandemic and answer the question of how the pandemic has affected students’ learning. With multiple learning outcome indicators, the project will explain the mechanisms through which school closures cause learning loss. It will also examine the heterogeneous effects of school closures across different groups of students, in terms of gender, urban/rural location, ethnicity, and availability of learning equipment and internet connection.

Main tasks:

  • Develop instruments to conduct a phone survey with Grade 12 students and face-to-face interviews with Grade 7 students; Refine Maths and Literature tests for Grade 7 students.
  • Program CAPI and CATI survey tools on SurveyCTO
  • Dolisting for Grade 7 students that were former RISE participants and sampling
  • Coordinate data collection, monitor data collection process and data quality
  • Analyse quantitative data using individual fixed-effect regression models
  • Develop research papers and present findings at workshops/conferences.


Photo by MDRI


07/2023 - 07/2024