Effect of Coronavirus in Indian Education System
Educators and students around the world are feeling the extraordinary ripple effect of the novel coronavirus as schools and Colleges shut down amid the public health emergency. On 16 March, the Central government declared a countrywide lock-down of schools and colleges. On 18 March, CBSE released revised guidelines for examination centers. This includes maintaining a distance of at least 1 meter between the students taking the exam with a class not having more than 24 students. If the rooms of the examination centers are small, divide the students and make them sit in different rooms. On 19 March, CBSE and JEE Main examinations were postponed till 31 March.
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On 20 March, Maharashtra government canceled examinations for classes 1 to 8 and promoted the students to the next classes, whereas examinations for classes 9 and 11 were postponed till 15 April. Madhya Pradesh Board of Secondary Education postponed board exams for class 10 and 12 and asked school principals to promote or detain students of class 5 to 8 based on their performance in previous terms. Board exams of class 10 and 12 were postponed in Kerala. Assam government canceled all exams till 31 March. UPSC has also postponed the interview for the Civil Services Examination 2019 to be held from 23 March to 3 April. The SSC exams in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry were postponed to April 15
School closures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic have shed a light on numerous issues affecting access to education, as well as broader socio-economic issues. As of March 12, more than 370 million children and youth are not attending school because of temporary or indefinite countrywide school closures mandated by governments in an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19. As of 20 March, over 70% of the world's learners were impacted by closures.
Even when school closures are temporary, it carries high social and economic costs. The disruptions they cause affect people across communities, but their impact is more severe for disadvantaged children and their families including interrupted learning, compromised nutrition, childcare problems and consequent economic cost to families who cannot work. Working parents are more likely to miss work when schools close in order to take care of their children, incurring wage loss in many instances and negatively impacting productivity. Localized school closures place burdens on schools as parents and officials redirect children to schools that are open.
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Lack of access to technology or fast, reliable internet access can prevent students in rural areas and from disadvantaged families. Lack of access to technology or good internet connectivity is an obstacle to continued learning, especially for students from disadvantaged families. In response to school closures caused by COVID-19, UNESCO recommends the use of distance learning programs and open educational applications and platforms that schools and teachers can use to reach learners remotely and limit the disruption of education.
School closures negatively impact student learning outcomes. Schooling provides essential learning and when schools close, children and youth are deprived of opportunities for growth and development. The disadvantages are disproportionate for underprivileged learners who tend to have fewer educational opportunities beyond school. Student dropout rates tend to increase as an effect of school closures due to the challenge of ensuring all students return to school once school closures end. This is especially true of protracted closures. Schools are hubs of social activity and human interaction. When schools are closed, many children and youth miss out on social contact that is essential to learning and development. When schools close parents are often asked to facilitate the learning of children at home and can struggle to perform this task. This is especially true for parents with limited education and resources.
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