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Closure of Schools due to COVID has impacted 247 Million Children in India:UNICEF Study

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Closure of schools due to Covid impacted 247 million children in IndiaAccording to report titled “Education: From disruption to recovery” released by UNICEF (United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund), the closure of 1.5 Million schools due to pandemic & its lockdown in 2020 has impacted 247 Million Children enrolled in elementary & secondary schools in India.

  • Globally around 888 Million children continue to face disruptions to their education due to full & partial school closures.
  • Schools in 14 Countries across the world have remained closed since March 2020 to February 2021. Two-thirds of those countries are in Latin America & Caribbean, it has affected around 98 million schoolchildren in these regions.
  • The report also states that Online education is not feasible as only 1 in 4 children have access to digital devices & Internet connectivity.

Rural-Urban divide

  • The report highlighted that before the pandemic, only 24% of households in India had access to the Internet.
  • There was also a large rural-urban and gender divide.

Framework for reopening Schools

  • Only 8 states/UTs in India have opened classes for students from Class 1 to Class 12.
  • The Ministry of Education is in the process of finalising guidelines for safe reopening of schools. The guidelines are being drafted by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT).
  • UNICEF, UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees), World Bank & World Food Programme have developed a Global framework for reopening schools.

Mental Health of Children

  • An analysis by UNICEF also states that at least 332 Million Children (1 in 7) have their mental health and well being at risk due to lockdowns.
  • According to UNICEF, India had one of the strictest lockdowns in the world.
  • The lockdown has led to an increase in children experiencing violence, abuse at home, and many have been left stranded due to lack of support from teachers, families & communities.

Recent Related News:

i.On 28th January 2021, UNICEF’s Office of Research – Innocenti and the World Food Programme (WFP) released a new report which states that more than 39 billion in-school meals were missed due to the closure of schools during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Executive Director – Henrietta H. Fore
Headquarters – New York, USA