According to a study, online education has yet to reach up to 70% of children in India; pleads for the reopening of schools | Delhi News


NEW DELHI: A recent study on the effects of prolonged school closures found that the effectiveness and penetration of online education efforts remained “woefully inadequate” across the country, with 40 to 70 % of children without a device at home.
The study, published by the Boston Consulting Group, said more than 80% of teachers expressed their “inability” to maintain an emotional connection in online mode and that around 90% of children lost at least one language ability. specific. The study suggested that India adopt a philosophy that schools are “last to close and first to open”, instead of the other way around, and act in four key areas.
“First, decentralize the reopening and closing of schools – to ward, gram panchayat or school level, with clearly defined standards. Provide a blended learning construct throughout the year, in addition to offline learning, continue online education. Strengthen testing, vaccination, safety protocol and ventilation,” the study said. It showed that due to centralized decision-making, even in districts where there were fewer than 25 daily Covid cases, schools were forcibly closed.
“Since 2020, many countries have moved from the national or state level to a lower governance unit to avoid mass school closures. For example, the United States, United Kingdom, Australia and Pakistan have set clear standards for opening and closing schools at the district, county or school level,” says the study.
Governments should also develop a solid medium-term roadmap to close the learning gap, with adequate infrastructure upgrades and financial support, and education should be a priority by regularly monitoring education readiness. school and compliance with protocols by local administrators, the study suggests. Furthermore, he said the prolonged school closures had led to implications that went beyond learning, including aspects such as increased exploitation of children and social and emotional problems.
Stating that according to several surveys, more than 80% of parents were in favor of schools reopening, the study indicated that 37% answered that their child was not studying at home at all, 70% said that the child had no tests or exams in the past three months, and 49% said their child faced an inappropriate schedule. “While schools were closed around the world in 2020 (first semester), many countries kept schools wide open until 2021 – Australia (85-90% open), South Africa (80-85 %), UK (70-75%), USA (75-80%) – despite significantly higher disease incidence than India…” the study states.

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