India records the second-longest duration of school closure during the COVID-19. The troubling inference was shared by a UNESCO report called 'Education: From Disruption To Recovery'. With 82 weeks, it is just behind Uganda, which amounts to 83 weeks of school closure on the pandemic.
The report's details were shared in the Lok Sabha by Annpurna Devi, the Union Minister of State for Education. NDTV reported that she questioned UNESCO's methodology and stated that a non-governmental organisation produced the data for the all-important report.
COVID-19 And Education Crisis
It is a proven fact that the pandemic harmed education. Like other countries, India's education system could not stand a chance in front of the deadly virus. In no time, schools were closed indefinitely, and everything shifted online. However, this gave rise to glaring class disparities where the less-privileged were deprived of the fundamental right.
In the report, UNESCO shared an interactive map highlighting the countries according to the school closure durations. Uganda tops the list with 83 weeks of school closure, whereas India comes a close second at 82 weeks.
A majority of the nations fell in the 21-30, and 41+ weeks while very few were in ranges lesser than them. Turkmenistan had the most petite duration of school closure that lasted for four weeks during the pandemic.
Measures Taken By Indian Govt
As Annpurna Devi cited the report, she raised concern about the techniques used to arrive at a conclusion. "The UNESCO report does not mention the methodology used in the source of this data is stated to be a study by a non-governmental organisation," she told the news publication.
Further, Devi mentioned the necessary measures taken by the Centre. This consisted of adapting to digital platforms for online classes to the decision needed to be taken about schools reopening. She adds, "The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), on September 2020, had stated that states and UT governments may decide in respect of reopening of schools in a graded manner."
The COVID-19 pandemic made it difficult for the oppressed to continue their classes. In light of this, the government introduced initiatives such as community radio stations and CBSE podcasts called 'Shiksha Vani' and provided textbooks to students living in remote areas.