Education

schools, pandemic impacts, Covid-19

Closure of 1.5 million schools in India due to Covid 19 pandemic impacts 247 million children

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schools, pandemic impacts, Covid-19

The closure of 1.5 million schools in India due to the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 has impacted the lives of nearly 247 million children in the country.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Around 1.5 million schools were closed in India due to Covid-19.
  • Due to the closure of schools, 247 million students suffered in 2020.
  • The schools are finally reopening after one year of closure.

In India, the closure of 1.5 million schools due to the pandemic and lockdowns in 2020 has impacted 247 million children enrolled in elementary and secondary schools. In addition, there are over six million girls and boys who were already out of school even before the COVID-19 crisis began.

Online education is not an option for all as only one in four children has access to digital devices and internet connectivity. Pre-COVID, only a quarter of households (24 percent) in India had access to the internet and there is a large rural-urban and gender divide.

To date in India, only eight states/UTs have opened all classes from class 1 to class 12; 11 states have reopened classes 6-12 and 15 states have only opened classes 9-12. Three states have reopened Anganwadi centers, with younger children losing out greatly on crucial foundational learning.

Schools for more than 168 million children globally have been completely closed for almost a full year, said UNICEF. UNICEF has also unveiled ‘Pandemic Classroom’ at United Nations Headquarters in New York to call attention to the need for governments to prioritise the reopening of schools.

Schools closed for one year

While talking about the impact of the pandemic on education, Dr. Yasmin Ali Haque, UNICEF India Representative, said, “It has been nearly a year since the pandemic caused schools to close and disrupt the normal routine of children throughout India.”

She further said, “We know that the longer children stay out of school, the more vulnerable they become, with fewer chances of returning to school. Any decision to reopen schools is made with the best interests of children in mind and as schools re-open in a staggered manner with children returning to their classrooms, we must strive to support them in catching up on the learning they have missed.”

“This is especially true for those who were not able to access digital or remote learning opportunities. Further, the mental health and well-being of children are a crucial concern. Psycho-social support from teachers, parents, and caregivers is a priority,” she added.

 

Source: NDTV

schools, pandemic impacts, Covid-19

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