PATNA: A Unicef estimate says nearly 75 lakh children in Bihar will experience learning loss in the midst of Covid-induced lockdown. This is so because as many as 31% of school students do not have access to digital devices to avail online classes.Nearly 7 lakh students are not expected to return to their schools, the Unicef study said. The adolescents (14-18-year-old), comprising nearly 5.49% girls and 0.26% boys, are expected to drop out of schools.
In a presentation to education officials, Prassana Ash, monitoring and evaluation specialist, and Pramila Manoharan, education specialist in Unicef Bihar, highlighted the scenarios related to the Covid-19 second and third wave and its impact on children’s learning.Citing some key point-estimations, they said nearly 75 lakh children in Bihar will experience learning loss; assuming 31% students do not have access to digital devices; 3 per cent or nearly 7 lakh students are not expected to return to school.
Bihar additional chief secretary, in-charge of education department, Sanjay Kumar also spoke about strategies and solutions to ensure continuity of learning for the most marginalized children in Bihar in light of the pandemic and continued lockdown and school closures. “We are aware that a vast majority of children cannot access online classes or e-resources. We are looking at solutions and have requested the Centre to provide devices to bridge the digital divide in education.”
Terry Durnnian, Chief of Education, Unicef India, said all efforts should be made to ensure that the most marginalized groups of children can continue their learning. Nafisa Binte Shafique, chief of Unicef Bihar, made a strong plea for safe re-opening of schools with complete adherence to safety protocols.