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Written by Asutosh Mishra ( BNN)

  1. Educational institutions are temporarily being closed by most of the governments around the world to contain the

    spread of the pandemic that is Covid- 19.

  2. Every governments are trying their best to somehow mitigate the

    immediate impact of schools closures and to facilitate the continuity of education for all through remote learning.

  3. The impact of school closures is severe particularly to the under privileged boys and girls. Disparity within our education system has its existence since long. The current pandemic has only exacerbated the situation.

Following are the catastrophic impact on education system due to closure of school post Covid-19.
Internet become the overwhelming choice for the continuity of education post school closures. But the
percentage of students that are getting it through internet is very less. Rural India mainly depends upon governments schools for the education of their children. While India is still struggling to provide 24*7 electricity across the length & breadth of the country, it’ll be a daydream to think that there is strong internet connectivity for online classes in that part of India.

Free meal is a key feature to make under-privileged boys and girls inclined towards study. It is also a big effort by the
government to provide healthy nutrition to that section of the society. Hence, nutrition will be compromised as
schools are closed.

Dropout rate in schools is rising & will be more after reopening of schools. The economic shock that our country
is facing will put pressure on children of financially distressed families to work & generate income for their
families’ survival. Though continuity of education hasn’t been broken completely thanks to live online classes yet it certainly has certain shortfalls.

Stable internet connectivity is a major issue in the metros let alone rural India. Suffice to say those who
even have smart gadgets & internet connection are not getting quality education. Their study is being hindered
by poor internet network. We don’t have apps that can provide uninterrupted live online classes. Most of the online classes are held through zoom app which is owned by a Chinese company. This app shut itself down after 30 minutes of playing ignoring the poor audio quality.

There is lack of customised educational platforms  where online exams can be conducted fairly. Fairness
of online exams totally depends on moral conscience in students. Also, we haven’t devised a plan to conduct
subjective exams. Only MCQS can’t be considered enough to assess children’s learning.

The students who have their board exams whether 10th or 12th board in 2021 are at tremendous stress. Board
exams are considered most vital in a student’s career. The current pandemic has put a question mark in their
future. Even if the schools come up with a plan to conduct exams online or offline, will it be a justice to the
section of under-privileged students whose study has hampered the most !

Those students who already have given their board exams 10th or 12th board in 2020 are worried about their
admissions in college and universities. If the colleges decide to do admissions through online form fill up again
the marginalised section of children will suffer the most. Fewer students will go out of city or states to study. The
nightmare of children stuck in Kota, Rajasthan is still fresh in the minds of most parents. Competitive exams
are surely important but not above the safety of children.

So, parents won’t prefer to send their children far from home till this pandemic shows a visible breakdown &
availability of vaccine reaches every corner of India. If the drastic slowdown in the economy continues for a
longer period & employment market doesn’t pick up then student debt could become a serious issue.

There are many meritorious students belongs to lower middle- class families who are feeling the heat right now. Their study loans are hanging over their head likes dark clouds ready to rumble.

The Covid-19 pandemic has shown itself as the greatest disaster post world war 2. However, in this precarious situation, one aspect of human nature that has shone brilliantly has been the resilience displayed by all of us. Both teachers and students are trying their best to tackle these difficult circumstances.
Majority of the approaches taken to provide education have centred around the use of technology. Yes, it is a
key player but can’t be the only player in this phase of the great unknown.

Following are some of the measures that can be useful to deal with the uncertain scenarios the education system is going through.

  • Schools can operate in 2 or 3 shifts depending upon strength of their students. This can be an arduous task
    for teachers but we have to take desperate measures in desperate circumstances. This step has to be
    considered at least for those students who have their board exams in 2021.
  • Standalone apps and customised online platforms must be created to provide uninterrupted live online classes
    and to conduct online exams.
  • Online education can’t be provided in most part of India. So, we better come up with an alternative to
  • Unemployment rate among the educated mass is rising very rapidly. If schools hire these
    educated youth for providing education after online screening in their locality to a small group of students
    then we can hit two targets with one arrow. Their efficiency mayn’t match the benchmark but having
    something is better than nothing.
  •  Without exams one can’t find out how much a child has learned. So, exams must be conducted in batches
    with proper care to sanitisation and schools must provide vehicles to bring each and every child to give
  • Online exams are good at conducting MCQs ignoring the credibility of the exam. But MCQs alone aren’t
    enough to assess the performance of a child. Hence,  viva should be considered as an alternative to
    subjective questions. More weightage should be given to it while conducting online exams.
  • Electricity is still a big issue in rural India let alone internet connectivity. Here, radio can be thought of as
    an alternative platform to provide education. Of course, not every subject can be taught through radio
    specially math but it will help. For deep corners of rural India where stable internet connection is a mere joke,
    radio is the best option to provide education.
  • The central governments along with all the state governments are trying their best to come up with a plan that can hold the falling educational system. It’s a fact that the marginalised and the vulnerable section of
    students are being the ones who have suffered the most due to this educational crisis. So, whatever
    he government plan to do they must think of this section of the society first. Whether to conduct,postpone, or cancel exams specially board exams the government should make sure injustice shouldn’t be done to this section of society in any manner.
  • One thing is certain that we will see a brand- new educational landscape post the decline of the pandemic, most certainly in 2021. Hygiene will become the top priority in schools. High schools and universities will incline towards the induction of technology in education for better learning experience. Necessity is the mother of invention.
    Therefore, this pandemic may trigger the much needed development of infrastructure in
    education sector of our country especially in government schools. Flood brings better crops post destruction. So, let us pray that this pandemic may bring some goodness after its departure.

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