Issues in Education Volume II | The Pandemic and School Education

Azim Premji University


The COVID-19 pandemic was an unprecedented situation, which resulted in prolonged school closure in India and across the world. Schools were fully or partially closed in India for over two years, among the longest periods in any country. Governments responded as best as they could, primarily through enabling education using technology. However, given the nature of digital divide in the country and the lack of readiness of teachers, these efforts were suboptimal at best. Further, while face to face learning was not possible, some efforts at teacher-driven community-based learning were made. However well-meaning, these efforts could not prevent the loss of curricular learning for the period schools were closed as well as loss of learning or forgetting what had been learnt before schools were closed. At the same time, the efforts of teachers during these difficult times must be noted. Despite these severe unprecedented challenges during the pandemic, it was the concerted effort of engaged and motivated teachers that provided rays of hope. As frontline professionals who are the best positioned to understand, empathise, and devise innovative and consistent approaches to the challenges faced by the children who come to their schools, many teachers across the country showed how the seemingly insurmountable problems of the pandemic could also be addressed. Like other frontline workers across government departments, many engaged teachers across the country ignored the fear’ of the pandemic and took it as their professional calling to devise ways and means to stay connected with the children from their schools and communities, offering what they only can do to help children stay connected with schools and learning processes even during multiple adversities they were facing. This volume brings together a series of studies done during the pandemic. It is an attempt to document and to highlight the unique challenges of the situation as well as efforts to overcome these challenges.