International Journal of Education for Social Justice, Consequences of School Closure due to Covid-19 on Educational Inequalities

Due to the Covid-19, a large number of schools around the world have closed, affecting more than a billion children and young people around the world. And with this, many of the educational and social inequalities have become more visible now than ever.

Given the implications of these unprecedented events, we considered offering a space to reflect on the consequences of the closure of schools by the Covid-19 on educational inequalities at the beginning of the pandemic. Thus, we opened an extraordinary issue of the International Journal of Education for Social Justice in which researchers and teachers of all educational levels were invited to submit different articles: research, essays, practical experiences, reflections… It has undoubtedly been very well received and in just three months they have published a total of four research articles and 35 opinion articles.

There are many situations that have widened the educational gap during the pandemic: the unequal access to technology that deprives many and many students of being able to follow online learning; parents or guardians who lack the knowledge or time to accompany and support the little ones during the process; lack of adequate study spaces; the difficulty of accompanying students with special educational needs; and so on. These and many other situations have reflected the socio-educational inequalities that many students across the globe face. 

Without a doubt, it is clear that the socioeconomically disadvantaged students are the ones that are suffering the most from the closure of schools. School closure has consequences that go beyond learning school subjects. The schools also guarantee a large number of students basic services such as daily food through free meal tickets, emotional support, access to specialists, socialization, etc. In order for schools to work for a fairer society, we must open the debates that become obvious in situations as exceptional as this one. The question on which Giroux, Rivera-Vargas and Passeron (2020) reflect on the construction of a post-Covid-19 society is interesting, posing two contrary scenarios. Do we want a society, and with it an education, that is represented by collective solidarity and social justice, or a society based on organic individualism and competition with the other. This debate is not new, but when entering a crisis of this nature it is more important than ever to bring it up. Even more so when the worst part of the crisis has shown that what is essential is found in the value of the common good, solidarity, the collective and the public.

Likewise, other equally relevant debates have been opened regarding the role of families in the education of minors (Cifuentes-Faura, 2020; Muñoz Moreno y Lluch Molins, 2020), the implications of the digitization of education (Almazán Gómez, 2020; Lusquiños, 2020; Rodríguez Morales, 2020); or the role of schools in preventing exclusion (Gárate Vergara, 2020; Peñate, 2020; Martínez Virto y Azcona Martínez, 2020), among others.

These and many other issues related to the Consequences of School Closings by Covid-19 on Educational Inequalities can be explored in the extraordinary issue of the International Journal of Education for Social Justice.