Can, and should, India reopen schools now? | In Focus Podcast

Anurag Behar speaks to us on whether India needs a roadmap for reopening schools and how it can be done safely

Published - August 03, 2021 04:25 pm IST

Earlier this month, the Indian Council of Medical Research's director general, Dr Balram Bhargava, said that once the country begins to consider re-opening schools, it would be wise to open primary schools before secondary schools, provided all school teachers and staff were vaccinated. A vast majority of schools in India have been shut for over 15 months now, since March 2020, affecting 24 crore students. Various states have opened temporarily for senior classes, sometimes only to shut again when COVID-19 cases rose. Online classes have been around as a substitute, but with less than 25 percent of Indian households having access to the internet as per the National Sample Survey 2017-18, how far can digital learning go? Have our students lost a year of learning and are they potentially going to forget what they learnt before the pandemic struck? Does India need a roadmap for the reopening of schools and how can it do so safely?

Guest: Anurag Behar, CEO, Azim Premji Foundation

Host: Zubeda Hamid

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