Apart but Connected: Online Tutoring to Mitigate the Impact of COVID-19 on Educational Inequality (joint with M. Carlana)

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the governments of most countries ordered the closure of all schools, potentially exacerbating existing learning gaps by socioeconomic characteristics. This paper evaluates the effectiveness of an intervention implemented in Italian middle schools that provides individual online tutoring to disadvantaged students during lock-down. Tutors are randomly assigned to middle school students, from a list of potential beneficiaries compiled by school principals. Using original survey data collected from students, parents, teachers and tutors, we find that the program substantially increased academic performance of students and that it also improved their socio-emotional skills, aspirations, and psychological well-being.

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