Schools closed for 17 months i.e. 500 days due to Corona epidemic have had the worst effect on the education of children. A survey conducted among children from 1362 underprivileged sections of the society has revealed that 37 per cent children in rural areas and 19 per cent in urban areas are not studying at all these days. There are only 8 per cent children who are getting online education. This has been revealed in the School Children Online and Offline Learning (School) Survey – “Locked Out: Emergency Report on School Education”.
The most shocking thing in the survey is that due to the closure of the school, the education of the children has stopped. As a result, 48 percent of children in urban areas are unable to read letters and words properly. 65 percent of parents in urban areas and 70 percent of parents in rural areas say that their child’s ability to read and write has decreased after the closure of schools due to the lockdown. According to Vipul Pykara, an independent researcher associated with this survey, “This survey shows that the situation is very serious and worrying. This indicates that we are heading towards mass illiteracy.”
Parents in favor of opening school
After the decline in the education of children, a large number of parents who were talked to in the survey are in favor of the opening of schools. A large number of parents of these disadvantaged households are in favor of the opening of the school. In rural areas, 97 percent and in urban areas 90 percent of parents want schools to be opened. According to Vipul Pykara, “If nothing is done to open the school, then it will be very harmful from the point of view of the education of the children. Children can be called to school by dividing them into different shifts. The government will have to think about this, if it is not done then the children will remain illiterate.
The survey was conducted by over 100 volunteers, including university students, under the supervision of economists Jean Dreze, Ritika Kheda, Vipul Pykra and Nirali Bakhala. Detailed report will be issued later. At the same time, it has been told in the same report that reports are being prepared by Azim Premji University and Bharat Gyan Vigyan Samiti regarding the education of children. In the month of August, this survey has been done in 15 states and union territories, which includes states like Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Bihar, West Bengal, Karnataka.
This survey was done in 1362 such households of those settlements which come from the deprived section of the society and the children of these households were studying in government schools from class one to eighth. Of the 1400 households selected for the survey, 60 per cent were in rural areas and 60 per cent people come from Dalit tribal society.
Highlights of School Survey 2021
What Children Say (in Percentage) Urban Rural
continuously studying online 24 8
not reading at all 19 37
Can’t read except a few words 42 48
smartphone in the family 77 51
no smartphone to read
The survey has found that 51 percent of urban households have a smartphone, but only 31 percent of children are able to study online because the smartphone that is there is with the elders of the house. At the same time, only 12 percent of rural children have a smartphone available for education. At the same time, due to problems in mobile network and expensive data, children are being deprived of education. Poor network is the main reason for the problem of online education for 57% of children in urban areas and 65% of children in rural areas.
Highlights of School Survey 2021
What Parents Say (in Percentage) Urban Rural
Online study facility 23 8
Children’s reading ability decreased 76 75
90 97 in favor of opening a school
Online education available to very few students
According to the survey, online education is available to a very limited number of students. Many states have not even made such a system in which such children who are unable to get online education can continue their studies further during the lockdown. Assam, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar are prominent among such states. At the same time, according to the survey, in states like Karnataka, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Punjab, efforts were made to continue studies by giving worksheets to such children. Along with this, the teachers of these states were also asked to keep meeting with the parents of such children.
taking admission in government schools
According to the survey, in March 2020, children who were studying in private schools before the lockdown started giving online education but did not reduce the fees. The parents of the children who were unable to pay the school fees after the lockdown crisis, took their children out of private schools and got them admitted in government schools. But even today there are parents of many such children who want to enroll their children in government schools but private schools are not giving them transfer certificates. These private schools are pressurizing to pay the outstanding fees first.
In the survey, when the volunteers gave this sentence to the children of classes 3 to 5 to read (the school is closed since the corona epidemic is going on). 35 percent of children in urban areas and 42 percent of children in rural areas were completely unable to read the entire sentence except a few words.
In the states where the sample survey was conducted, it also came out that after the closure of the schools, the midday meal given to the children was stopped. The parents of 80 per cent of the children studying in government schools were given wheat or rice for three months instead of mid-day meal. Some people were also given cash. But many said they got nothing. Students whose parents got something instead of midday meal complained that they got less than their due.