Learning Loss During School Closures: Challenges in India

Lakshmi Pandey
T. M. Bhagalpur University, Bhagalpur-7, Bihar

Pages: 47-54


India has the most extensive schooling system in the world, covering 264.5 million
students as of U-DISE 2019-20 reports. The COVID 19 pandemic adversely affected
the education system leading to closures of schools. This closure left very little time for
the system to prepare a strategy and transition to distance/online learning. Different
stakeholders of the education system faced difficulties in adopting the new online system.
Evidence shows that online education is ineffective, leading to learning loss and jolting
students’ routine lives. The term ‘learning loss’ is a global phenomenon that means
the loss of previously acquired academic knowledge or skills or a pause in academic
advancement, most commonly due to extended time away from school or in-person
instruction. The present conceptual paper was an attempt to capture the learning loss
during school closure and challenges in India. The Government of India has promoted
online teaching through various modes and launched many online teaching tools like
DIKHSA, SWAYAM, NROER and e-PATHSHALA etc. Studies found that despite access
to television and the internet, many students, especially in rural areas, are reluctant
to watch educational programmes on TV and online. Students from low-income rural
families and those studying in public educational institutions have relatively high
learning loss. Such students, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds and
without access to technological resources, find it very difficult to catch up on the level
of learning in pre-pandemic times. Thus, the situation is likely to widen learning gaps
more than ever and create psychological distress among students. Nowdays, cyber
loafing and internet addiction are more common among school students. Therefore,
strategic planning and teacher support should be suggested as learning recovery plan
to bridge the gap of learning loss..
Keywords: School closures, learning loss, digital resources and India

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