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Restarting India: Experts discuss impact of COVID-19 on education

Updated : September 15, 2020 07:15 PM IST

A survey conducted by Oxfam India has revealed that around 80 percent parents in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Odisha feel that online education across government schools has failed during the lockdown period. Around 100 percent of parents surveyed in Bihar gave a thumbs down to online education.

When it comes to private schools, around 41 percent of the parents surveyed said online education was delivered to their children. However, 39 percent parents complained that they were charged higher fees during the lockdown even as schools were physically shut.

The Oxfam report comes at a time when the Centre has told the Parliament that online classes are being conducted at schools by employing various digital tools.

Further, the Centre said the government has taken various efforts to create digital infrastructure, which would not only be helpful in the current circumstances but would also in the future. However, the government is yet to provide nation-wide data on exactly how many government schools are currently providing online education.

That's not all, the survey further points out that 35 percent of children across these five states have been deprived of mid-day meals.

If we consider only Uttar Pradesh, the figure stands at 92 percent. The Centre in March had directed all states and union territories to provide mid-day meals or food security allowance to students whose schools have been shut due to the pandemic.

Ankit Vyas, programme coordinator at Oxfam India and Naghma Mulla, the author of the Oxfam Report, president and chief operational officer at Edelgive Foundation discuss issues regarding online classes.
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