The impact of COVID-19 on schoolchildren in Pakistan: a review of literature

Muzammal Ahmad Khan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

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The Covid-19 pandemic is having an unprecedented impact on schools and schoolchildren across the globe. There is still a dearth of studies that investigate this recent phenomenon in a developing country context, and this is true of Pakistan. Much of the population in Pakistan resides in rural settings and a lack of technology and of online provision of teaching for more than one year must have had huge negative impacts on students’ learning. The school dropout rate was already high in rural settings and (Geven & Hasan, 2020), with school closures, this will likely have increased further, with some schoolchildren losing interest in going back to school. However, no current data appears to exist to corroborate this. Due to the lack of available current quantitative and qualitative data, this study seeks to explore the impact of Covid-19 on schoolchildren's education in Pakistan by examining recently published related studies. This study employs a literature review technique that gathers data to ascertain the potential overall impact on schoolchildren during the pandemic. The findings reveal that there remains a lack of detailed studies on this important topic and that urgent attention from researchers to assess the scale of the impact. In addition, the review found that many children from rural communities had little to no school engagement due to technology poverty and their families being unable to support home-schooling, either due to family and/or work constraints or to a lack of prior education and/or skills. Themes that emerged were that families, especially mothers, struggled to balance both caring and home-schooling duties, pupils from private schools had a better experience than those from public school backgrounds and many of these reported that online provision helped students develop new skills. This study may help to improve the understanding of the impact on the lost learning of schoolchildren during the pandemic by guiding practitioners as well as policymakers.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSchoolchildren of the COVID-19 Pandemic
Subtitle of host publicationImpact and Opportunities
EditorsRobert J. Ceglie, Dixie F. Abernathy, Amy W. Thornburg
Place of PublicationBIngley
PublisherEmerald Publishing Limited
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9781802627411, 9781802627435
ISBN (Print)9781802627428
Publication statusPublished - 31 Aug 2022


  • COVID-19
  • schoolchildren
  • school
  • Pakistan
  • rural school
  • school closure
  • online education
  • inequalities disparity


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