According to the UNICEF report, only one out of every four children has access to digital devices and Internet connectivity, so online education is not a choice for everyone.
According to a UNICEF survey, 1.5 million schools in India were closed due to a coronavirus pandemic in 2020, affecting 247 million children enrolled in elementary and secondary schools. More than 168 million children’s schools around the world have been closed for almost a year, according to the study. According to the study, online education is not a choice for everyone since only one out of every four children has access to digital devices and internet access. Prior to COVID, only a quarter of Indian households (24%) had internet connectivity, and there is a significant rural-urban and gender divide.
“In India, 247 million children studying in elementary and secondary schools will be affected by the closing of 1.5 million schools due to the pandemic and lockdowns in 2020. Furthermore, over six million girls and boys had already dropped out of school before the COVID-19 crisis started “On Wednesday, the UN agency issued a statement. It also mentioned that only eight states/UTs in India have opened all classes from kindergarten to grade 12, 11 states have reopened classes 6-12, and 15 states have only opened classes 9-12. Anganwadi centres have reopened in three states, but younger children are missing out on critical foundational learning.
“The pandemic, which forced schools to close and disrupted children’s daily lives across India, has been nearly a year. We know that the longer a child is absent from school, the more insecure he or she becomes and the less likely they will return. Every decision to reopen schools is made with the best interests of children in mind, and as schools reopen in stages, with students returning to their classrooms, we must work diligently to assist them in catching up on the learning they have missed “Dr. Yasmin Ali Haque, UNICEF India Representative, said.
A Global Framework for Reopening Schools was created by UNICEF, UNESCO, UNHCR, World Bank, and World Food Programme, and it was adapted to the Indian context. The Ministry of Education has finalised guidelines for safe school re-opening, drafted by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT), with an emphasis on promoting regular handwashing and safe hygiene practises among students, teachers, and other school staff, as well as sanitization of schools, with adequate supplies and facilities, and physical distancing strategies, according to the statement.