A recent study by Azim Premji University (APU) has found that prolonged closure of schools since March 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic has had an adverse effect on learning among younger children.
The study found that on average 92 per cent children have lost at least one specific language ability and 82 per cent have lost at least one specific mathematical ability from 2020 across classes 2 to 6.
The Bengaluru-based Institute stated that the study “reveals the extent and nature of the ‘forgetting/regression’ kind of learning loss (i.e. what was learnt earlier but has now been lost) among children in public schools across primary classes because of the closure of schools during the COVID-19 pandemic”. Over 16,000 school children across five states — Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand — were surveyed during the study.
Learning levels were tested on the basis of language knowledge and mathematical abilities.
For languages, 92 per cent of children in class 2, 89 per cent in class 3, 90 per cent in class 4, 95 per cent in class 5, and 93 per cent in class 6 have lost at least one such specific ability from the previous class in the last one year, said the study.
For mathematics, the respective figures were 67 per cent in class 2, 76 per cent in class 3, 85 per cent in class 4, 89 per cent in class 5, and 89 per cent in class 6.
Schools in India have been closed since March 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. While some states have reopened, only children from Class 6 to 12 are allowed to enter schools for now.