SCHOOL survey exposes the dark underbelly of online education during school closures
-Inclusive Media for Change
The pandemic induced school closures have taken a huge toll on the right to education and learning levels of the school children coming from underprivileged sections. A survey covering 1,362 school children (enrolled in Classes 1-8) from 1,362 households, which was carried out in 15 states/ UTs in the month of August 2021 (first round), reveals the catastrophic consequences of prolonged school closure in the last one year and a half.
In rural areas, only 8 percent of sample school children are found to be studying online regularly, while the survey shows that 37 percent are not studying at all, and 48 percent are unable to read more than a few words. The survey has detected that nearly 71 percent of school children in rural areas did not have a test or exam in the last 3 months. Roughly 58 percent of school children in rural areas could not meet their teacher(s) in the last 30 days.
About three-fourth of parents residing in rural areas feel that their child’s reading abilities have declined during the school closures. Most parents (roughly 97 percent) in rural areas want schools to reopen as soon as possible.
As opposed to the situation in rural areas, in urban areas, only 24 percent of sample children are studying online regularly, 19 percent are not studying at all, and 42 percent are unable to read more than a few words. About 52 percent of school children in urban areas did not have a test or exam in the last 3 months. Nearly 51 percent of urban school children could not meet their teacher(s) in the last 30 days. Please see the table.
Around three-fourth of parents residing in urban areas (76 percent) feel that their child’s reading abilities have declined during the school lockout. About 90 percent of parents in urban areas want schools to reopen as soon as possible.
The report titled Locked Out: Emergency Report on School Education indicates that the parents are desperately waiting for schools to reopen because for many of them, school education is the only hope that their children can have for a better life than their own. It is to be noted that the primary and upper-primary schools in the country have been closed for a full 17 months – more than 500 days.
The states/ UTs covered in the school survey are: 15 states and UTs: Assam, Bihar, Chandigarh, Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.
The report titled Locked Out: Emergency Report on School Education was prepared by the coordination team (Nirali Bakhla, Jean Drèze, Vipul Paikra, Reetika Khera) with generous help from nearly 100 volunteers. The School Children’s Online and Offline Learning (SCHOOL) survey focused on relatively deprived hamlets and bastis, where children generally attend government schools.
Please click here to access the report in English. Kindly click here to access the report in Hindi. Please follow the twitter id of Road Scholarz (https://twitter.com/roadscholarz) in order to know more about the survey.
(Kindly click here to access the detailed news alert based on the school survey report by Inclusive Media for Change).
Image Courtesy: Locked Out: Emergency Report on School Education (1st round)