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92% Indian school kids lost their language skills, 82% lost math in past 1.5 years: A Future crisis in making

The study was conducted of 16,067 students across 44 districts by the Azim Premji Foundation.

The future industrial & educational sector might see a severe crisis as shutting down schools to prevent the spread of the coronavirus pandemic has lead to lead to increased dropouts and huge gaps in learning levels.

As states dither over whether to reopen primary schools or not, here’s a study that paints a stark picture to make the case for reopening schools urgently.

An Azim Premji Foundation survey of over 16,000 students in primary schools found an alarming dip in language skills and math skills — 92% of the children have lost at least one language ability, while 82% have lost math skills.

These specific abilities include describing a picture or their experiences orally; reading familiar words; reading with comprehension; writing simple sentences based on a picture.

The study was conducted among 16,067 children in 1,137 public schools and covered 44 districts across five states – Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand.

The report emphasizes that the extent and nature of learning loss are serious enough to call for action at all levels, through supplemental support, in the form of bridge courses, extended hours, community-based engagements, and appropriate curricular materials.

Deepa Balakrishnan interviews CEO of the foundation, Anurag Behar, who says there is an urgent need to reopen all schools, but with a plan. In the longer term, this is a good case to be made out for having localised schooling like in many Western countries have – that is, children from a locality go to a school within a short distance.

On the other hand, More students in India will be able to step inside a classroom for the first time in nearly 18 months on Wednesday, as authorities have given the green light to partially reopen more schools despite apprehension from parents & signs that infections are picking up again.

Schools and colleges in at least 6 more states will reopen in a gradual manner with health measures in place throughout September.

Let us know what you think about the reopening of Schools/Colleges.

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