Study: Remote education in Poland during COVID-19 pandemic

Project team: Aleksandra Czetwertyńska, Magdalena Biernat

Czas trwania: marzec-listopad 2020

Themes: Open Culture


The study aims to examine how the Polish educational system coped with the sudden schools’ closure due to the pandemic crisis and how the situation developed within the next months. We asked teachers for their professional experiences and problems they faced in their everyday work at that time. The research was conducted in two editions - the first one at the very beginning of the obligatory remote education in Poland and the second one after six months.

First edition [March-April 2020]

Together with our partners – the Center for Citizenship Education (Centrum Edukacji Obywatelskiej) and the School with Class Foundation (Szkoła z klasą) – we developed a study to identify the problems teachers in Poland face during distance education. By using a detailed questionnaire we asked the teachers how they handle digital tools, what are the sources of materials they use and what is the greatest challenge for them in remote teaching.

In addition to the survey, we conducted in-depth interviews with a number of the respondents – we quote the actual teachers’ statements in both reports.

The research carried out in March and April 2020 is the first such large study conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic in Poland. Almost 1,000 primary school teachers from all over the country answered our survey. Such a big response allowed us to assess the most important current needs of pedagogical staff and understand what kind of support the education system needs to help schools cope with distance education.

  • Before the outbreak of the pandemic, 85.4% of the surveyed teachers did not have any previous experience with distance learning, although 48% have no difficulties using digital tools;
  • 36% of teachers indicate the lack of equipment in students as one of the key problems with distance education;
  • Teachers point out that children started to suffer badly from isolation already after the first month. Exemptions from the obligation to follow the core curriculum would allow teachers to be flexible and adapt to the needs of various students in this aggravating situation (also, mentally);

Second edition [August-October 2020]

The second edition of the study held from August till early October 2020 aimed to evaluate how the situation of the Polish schools changed after almost a semester of remote work and what is teachers’ attitude for the beginning school year.

This time, apart from the primary schools’ teachers, we directed our research also to high and vocational schools’ pedagogical staff to get a more complete view of the current Polish educational landscape.

  • Two major problems identified by the respondents at the beginning of the new school year was the high level of time consumption of the remote education process (59% of the respondents) and stress and fatigue caused by it (37%)
  • Up to 48% of the primary and high schools’ teachers indicated that at least one of their students “disappeared” (ceased to actively participate in lessons or entirely stopped contacting) during the distance learning period. In the vocational schools the percentage reached 58%;
  • YouTube and other video platforms were the most often used sources for preparing the remote classes. As much as 84% of primary and high schools’ teachers and 75% of vocational schools’ teachers confirmed using them.

Reports in Polish are available here


If you have questions, please contact Maria Mirecka (