Parents wondered whether learning remotely could work as well as being in a classroom. New global data suggests the answer is no.

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Of all of the pandemic edicts — the masks necessities, the vaccination mandates — few have been extra contentious than the choice to shutter colleges. On the peak of closures final 12 months, 1.6 billion college students in 188 international locations have been locked out. Throughout the globe, 700 million of them reside in partially or absolutely closed faculty districts. To be taught, the pandemic era turned to laptops, cellphones, televisions and radios, leaving mother and father asking a nagging query: May studying remotely work in addition to being in a classroom?