By Kapish Singh Sangha
India has a huge diverse population out of which hardly a small percentage resides in or in a near proximity to Metro cities or Tier — 2 Cities and Hence, it reduces their opportunity of accessibility to a well structured and resourceful education.The situation becomes more critical when a majority of them going to public schools come from a family background that is financially poor and are located in the vast not so easily reachable demographic of Country .
Covid-19 has reduced their educational opportunity to the bare minimum, As Govt announced lockdown there was an entire lock-down of the education system as well. Education landscape had to go under a whole new revamp in India, leading to the disturbance of one whole academic cycle of the country. Though different measures were taken by the govt to bring back the children into the education system, none of those programs and Policies have by far helped them. The lack of resources and poor administration of the Public Education system has crippled the system, meanwhile the private education sector has inculcated students into the new Online world of education, The Public sector is still struggling with it’s measures.
The ongoing suspension of Classes has led to :-
- A major drop in the number of students who are presently an active part of the Government’s free education Program .Globally, it is estimated that more than 24 million additional children will drop out of the education system post pandemic. (UNESCO)
- Over 50 million elementary Students had not attained Foundational Literacy and Numeracy (NEP, 2020) .
- UNESCO estimates that a Grade 3 student who has lost a year of learning will be able to catch up by 2030.
- Increased chances of poverty due to lock-down measures at household level has led to students working unofficially and illegally at worksites.
- Lack of technological resources has made it even worse for those students who come from an economically marginalized section of society and that in turn is making it hard for them to remain in the educational structure of India .
By far the most affected section of these students are those who are at their elementary and secondary level of schooling. Because these students are at last of the Que in Government policy regarding who can attend classes under Coivd prevention Norms. Though the age of these young children makes them more vulnerable to disease. But a longer stay at Home away from their classrooms makes them vulnerable to a poor understanding of education and learning as well.
Due to ongoing online transformation of education system :
- There has been a major lack of attention on children’s education leading to a huge drop in their mastery level as per their class level .
- The lack of resources in poor households has put them at the rear seat of priority of education in their household when compared to their older siblings .
- Most Importantly , It is putting the Country’s future in danger as it can have a long term effect on the educational mindset of stakeholders who are involved in their educational journey .
And all of these factors pose a threat to the Policies and programs of India which targets Education for all.
(Kapish Singh Sangha is a Fellow, Teach For Inda and the State Spokesman (Haryana), Indian Youth Congres)