The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on education globally, with extended school closures posing significant challenges, particularly in Brazil. These closures have not only disrupted the learning process but have also exacerbated existing educational inequalities. In Brazil, the impact was more severe among low-income families, where access to alternative learning resources was limited.

This situation led to a substantial increase in dropout rates and a marked decrease in academic achievement, as remote learning could not fully substitute for in-person education. The pandemic highlighted the need for robust educational policies and systems capable of addressing such disparities, especially in crisis situations. Therefore, understanding and addressing the consequences of these closures is vital for developing effective strategies to mitigate their long-lasting effects on educational inequality in Brazil.

In this policy brief, we provide policy recommendations and evidence supporting them based on the lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic. We divide the policies in three main groups:

  1. short-term policies that try to alleviate the immediate impact of school closures, especially for the most vulnerable populations;
  2. medium-term policies that aim at structuring data and information to support pedagogical decisions; and
  3. the long-term structuring of the Sistema Nacional de Educação (National System of Education) with the role of coordinating policies at the national level.