80 children left without access to education during school closures

A recent national survey found that only 20 percent of school-age children enrolled in the formal education system received distance education during COVID-19-induced school closures.

A recent national survey found that only 20 percent of school-age children enrolled in the formal education system received distance education during COVID-19-induced school closures. School-age children were considered between 5 and 18 years of age.

The survey was conducted by LIRNEasia, a regional think tank working on digital policy across Asia Pacific and ICRIER, a policy-based economic policy think tank outside New Delhi.

The 2021 survey found that access to education was higher among students living in urban areas, from wealthy families, heads of more educated families and students living in higher grades.

Of the 20 percent who were able to access education during school hours, they did so through multiple channels. However, the experiences of these students were different. Only 55 percent of students (some of this small group who received some education) participated in live (real-time) online lessons, where 68 percent watched recorded video lessons, and 75 percent communicated information and assignments on their smartphones through the channel. As WhatsApp. It is also noteworthy that 58 per cent of these students communicated with the school through offline channels, information and assignments were physically delivered to their homes. The remaining 80 percent of the children were left behind.

There is also a difference between the challenges of those who are receiving education and those who are not. Parents of those who have received education say that their main challenges are that their children are not paying attention, that schools are unprepared for providing online education and that high data costs. Meanwhile, the most cited challenges for those uneducated were poor connectivity in their area (3G and 4G signals), and inadequate home devices to meet the competitive needs of all members of their family.

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