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Survey on impact of school closures and Shikshak Parv

Context:

  • The prolonged closure of primary and upper primary schools during the pandemic months has led to “catastrophic consequences” for school students, particularly in rural India, says an emergency report.
  • The private sector must come forward and contribute to increasing the quality of education in government schools, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said while launching a portal to coordinate private contributions for school development.

Relevance:

GS-II: Social Justice and Governance (Issues related to Education, Government Interventions and Policies, Issues arising out of the design and implementation of Government Policies), Prelims

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. ‘Emergency Report on School Education’
  2. About Shikshak Parv-2021

‘Emergency Report on School Education’

  • ‘Emergency Report on School Education’ is based on the School Children’s Online and Offline Learning (SCHOOL) survey – and it notes the catastrophic consequences for school students from the prolonged closure of primary and upper primary schools since the onset of the pandemic.
  • Only 8% of school students in rural India have been able to access online education, while at least 37% have stopped studying altogether. In urban areas around 24% were found to be studying online education regularly.
  • The most important factor has been the limited reach of online education owing to the lack of ownership of smartphones, which stands at less than 50% in rural areas. Also, the ownership of smartphones does not guarantee access to online education given the fact that the smartphones are mainly used by working adults who are not always able to share the gadgets with the children at home.
  • Only a small proportion of the school-going population has been able to continue studies online. Thus, the learning process has been disrupted to a large extent and this could be detrimental to the learning outcomes of school education.
  • The survey also found that the Dalit and Adivasi children were at a greater disadvantage as a mere 5% of the children from these groups had access to online classes.
  • In addition to education, the prolonged school closure has also affected the level of nutrition among the children in rural schools where the midday meals have been stopped.

About Shikshak Parv-2021

  • Shikshak Parv-2021 is celebrated by the Ministry of Education (MoE) from September 5 to 17, 2021. It is organised to recognise the valuable contributions of teachers and to take National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 ahead.
  • The theme for the Shikshak Parv 2021 is Quality and sustainable schools-learnings from schools in India.
  • Five key initiatives in the education sector were launched on the occasion:
    1. School Quality Assessment and Accreditation Framework (SQAA): a quality initiative proposed by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to provide global parameters of attainment as standards in schools affiliated to it – to address the deficiency of the absence of a common scientific framework for dimensions like curricula, pedagogy, assessment, infrastructure, inclusive practices and governance process.
    2. NISHTHA Teachers’ Training programme for NIPUN Bharat: a capacity building programme for improving the quality of school education through integrated teacher training launched to create an enabling environment to ensure universal acquisition of foundational literacy and numeracy, so that every child achieves the desired learning competencies in reading, writing and numeracy by the end of Grade 3, by 2026-27.
    3. Vidyanjali 2.0 Portal: launched for facilitating education volunteers, donors and CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) contributors for school development with focus towards the improvement of literacy by offering volunteer teachers in government schools.
    4. Indian Sign Language Dictionary: launched for the Children and persons with hearing impairments with 10,000 words in it.
    5. Talking Books: audiobooks for the visually impaired.

-Source: The Hindu, Indian Express

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