Reopening of schools post lockdown

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Dr Satywan Saurabh
According to the United Nations policy, the threat of 24 million children not returning to school due to impact of epidemic on education, and economic decline of COVID-19 has now changed. He said that the educational funding gap is also likely to increase by one third. Over 1.6 billion learners worldwide have been affected by the disruption of the education system. 86% of children at the primary- level have dropped out of school effectively.
UNESCO estimates that 23.8 million children and youth may or may not have access to school next year due to the economic impact of epidemic. The number of children who do not return to their education after school closure is more likely, with girls and young women likely to be disgruntled, as school closures are more likely to lead to child marriages, pregnancy, and gender-based violence etc.
Even for those who do not drop out of school, learning losses can be severe, especially in the early years of education. ‘Simulation of developing countries participating in the International Student Assessment (PISA) programme shows that without exemptions, a third [equivalent to a three-month school closure] learning loss during Grade 3 is 72% of students. It is briefly stated that by grade 10 they have dropped out of school or will not learn anything.
The World Bank has said that emerging world power India may face economic losses as a result of the closure of schools. By the way, whole world is currently facing the Corona epidemic. But in India, the disease knocked in March, and immediately a lockdown was implemented by the Indian government to mitigate the effects of the epidemic. All schools, colleges, and universities were also closed in this lockout, which disrupted teaching, which is interrupted till date.
A report by the World Bank about the impact of school closures on the South Asian economy found that India would incur a huge economic loss of approximately ($ 420 billion) in future. The result of the closure of schools and other educational institutions can be huge, which is more than the sum of the remaining South Asian damage. However, in Unlockdown 5.0, the Indian government has indicated to open schools.
But there will be a serious decline in education and productivity during this period.
The best way to know the health of a country’s economy is to understand the average income of the population there. An increase in average income refers to increase in productivity (making overall income higher), and the second is the return of new income generated by increased productivity to workers in the form of higher productivity. In the present times, where continuous technological changes are taking place, the utility of both education and skills increases. In the current time, the phase of Industry 4.0 is beginning which will be based on intensive learning and machine learning requiring high technical knowledge. And this technical knowledge is only possible through education.
Ensuring productivity growth is primarily a federal responsibility, encouraging full employment potentials, such as strong labour laws, fair trade policies, and monetary and fiscal policies. Some new steps can be taken in this area, such as maintaining strong labour standards, including minimum wage laws that will protect low-paid workers. Education is very important to understand labour law and to take advantage of government schemes. In countries like India, increasing education increases economic growth.
The lockout has resulted in the loss of education, economic loss to industries, and social damage in society. The children were forced into child labour due to closure of schools and lockdown. It also affected gender equality. With online education, girls were forced to receive an education at home. The online education used in the lockdown is out of reach of poor people. In the meantime, a disparity will arise between students who are receiving online education and those unable to obtain online education.
The lockout caused a mountain of financial damage in every region. The closure of private schools reduced economic access of teachers and other staff. India’s greatest strength is its youth power. In such a situation, zero education in a year would be very painful. Recently there was talk of demographic dividend in India. As a result of this lockdown, a large number of people will no longer attend schooling and may now drop-out of schooling. In such a situation, it would turn into a demographic dividend, a demographic curse.
The main facts of the World Bank report showed that South Asian governments spend about $ 400 billion on education, so the loss will necessarily exceed this amount. India will suffer the most in total economic losses of South Asian countries, estimated at $ 420 billion. The World Bank reported that in South Asian countries a child will suffer an average loss of $ 4400 (about 5% of the amount earned in full work time). The lockdown has left nearly 391 million children in the South Asian region out of school, creating a learning and earnings gap. The World Bank said that students, who have been away from schools for 5 months, may have forgotten the old learning due to lack of practice.
There is a need to focus immediately on how we can reduce this risk. The National Education Policy brought by the government has the concept of vocational training which will reduce the harm caused by this lockdown. The online platform became a medium for education communication during the lockout. Although online education also has its limitations but it has tried to reduce the learning gap. The government must regulate education fee by which those individuals can enter the education system, whose economic capacity is reduced due to lockdown.

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