A S COVID-19 MEASURES relax across the world, nothing brings quite so much relief as the reopening of schools. For India's 320m schoolchildren, its 8.5m teachers and for parents, too, the relief is particularly acute. Not only have Indian schools suffered some of the world's longest closures—an average of 69 weeks. For reasons peculiar to India, its shutdowns have also been especially disruptive. And they have exacerbated the awful learning outcomes from the vast lower tier of schools. For some, the switch from in-class to online learning started well enough. A teacher in one private school in Delhi, the capital, recalls how she stopped worrying about tele-teaching on the very first day, after finding that every student on her screen had respectfully donned the school uniform for the occasion. But for others the switch never happened. A survey in Kolkata last year found that two-fifths of pupils enrolled in state primary schools had no way to follow online materials. Another in Chennai, India's sixth-biggest city, found that one in five children were in schools that offered no online instruction, and a fifth of the rest did not attend remote classes anyway. Matters have been bad for the poor, and worse… Read full this story
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