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New IDB Report Unveils the Power of Remote Tutoring to Overcome Educational Lag  

• Students with remote tutoring in Latin America and the Caribbean learn 30% faster.   

• Every $100 invested in eight-session tutoring over two months achieves 40% of a year of learning in literacy, mathematics.  

A new report from the Inter-American Development Bank (BID) concludes that strategies for accelerating learning, especially remote phone tutoring, are highly cost-effective for recovering what was lost during the pandemic and overcoming educational lag in Latin America and the Caribbean. Students who receive remote tutoring in the region learn 30% faster than those who do not.  

The publication “Multiplying Learning: Remote Tutoring to Empower the School” is the first guide focused on the region to develop strategies to accelerate learning.  

The authors analyze the experience implemented by four Latin American countries, with IDB support, and in another six whose experiences are underway. The evidence collected consistently points to improvements in learning and student well-being.  

“At 15 years old, students in the region are three years behind in academic performance in mathematics, reading, and science compared to an average student of the same age in OECD countries. To close this gap, students cannot continue learning at the same pace; it is necessary to accelerate their learning. How? With an innovative and highly effective strategy that does not come to replace the school, but to empower it. When competent and empathetic tutors are put on the other side of the telephone line, barriers that limit educational success are overcome,” said Mercedes Mateo, Chief of Education at the IDB.  

The publication estimates that tutoring strategies can achieve up to 40% of a school year’s learning in foundational skills, such as literacy or mathematics, for every $100 invested per student. This places it among the most cost-effective educational interventions.  

Latin America and the Caribbean is the region of the world where students learn the least in relation to the number of years of education they receive. Exiting the learning crisis, which the pandemic deepened, requires innovative, evidence-based, effective, and scalable solutions. Neither repetition nor remediation is the solution. Accelerating learning involves reducing the distance between the actual learning of all students and the expected educational level.  

For example, providing 24 tutoring sessions over a six-month period closes the gap of a year of learning lag, the study found. Or that if a student without tutoring can master the basic operations of mathematics (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division) in nine months, one with tutoring will acquire them in six months.  

Offering remote tutoring to all students with educational lag at a key stage in which educational trajectories are often broken, that is, in the transition between primary and secondary school, represents between 0.02% and 0.6% of the total educational expenditure of the countries of the region, depending on the country and the chosen implementation modality.  

These calculations focus on estimates for 12-year-old students and take into account both those who do not reach basic levels while in school and those who are outside the educational system.  

About the IDB Group

The IDB Group is the leading source of development financing for Latin America and the Caribbean. We contribute to improving lives by providing financial solutions and development expertise to public- and private-sector clients. The Group comprises the IDB, which has worked with governments for more than 60 years; IDB Invest, which serves the private sector; and IDB Lab, which tests innovative ways to enable more inclusive growth. Take our virtual tour


Planes,Maria Soledad

Planes,Maria Soledad
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Multiplying Learning: Remote Tutoring to Empower the School

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