The Pathology of School Closure in India
In the last two years, India has achieved the dubious distinction of becoming the country with the second-longest COVID-19 pandemic-linked school closure in the world — next only to Uganda. According to a United Nations report, it is an estimated 82 weeks, with some intermittent classes in between.
Causes of school closure in India
- Misinformation- One of the biggest reasons for continued school closure has been widespread misinformation. Unsubstantiated statements such as ‘the third wave would affect children’ made parents cautious about sending their kids to school.
- Government’s response-The Government’s response, at all levels, to the misinformation was delayed and arguably insufficient. Politicians in most States played to the gallery and used the opposition to re-open schools as an excuse to delay school reopening.
- Experience of 2nd Wave-The lived experience of citizens from the second COVID-19 wave in India — in which people had to fend for themselves. It dented the trust of the average citizen in the Government and its institutions.