Study finds 85 per cent university students suffered learning loss during the pandemic: Read to learn what that means

The survey tracked the impact of the pandemic on India's education system, marked the digital divide as one of the reasons, and measured that it might take three years to make up for lost ground
The study cited the digital divide, slow governance, and weak content as reasons for the loss | (Pic: Flikr)
The study cited the digital divide, slow governance, and weak content as reasons for the loss | (Pic: Flikr)

Eighty five per cent of university students have faced learning loss in the past year, as per a report by TeamLease EdTech on the deep and painful impact of COVID-19 on India's University System. College going students believe they have faced 40 per cent to 60 per cent of learning loss due to COVID. University leaders state that the loss has been 30 per cent to 40 per cent.

This loss is double the learning poverty estimated by the World Bank and learning loss of G7 countries. Survey findings indicate that it will take three years to bridge this gap. Learning loss has happened due to the digital divide, slow governance at government institutions, pre-existing capacity deficits, longer lockdowns than most countries, and weak content.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a severe impact on 220 million students as universities in 175 countries closed their premises and countries shut their borders. Although higher education institutions were quick to adopt lectures with online learning, these closures affected learning and examinations.

Perhaps most importantly, the crisis raises questions about the value offered by a university education. Looking at the enrolment in the sector, the global gross enrolment ratio in the higher education sector represents 38.85 per cent (Estimation based on the data from World Bank).

The closed institutions which led to online education posed challenges in remote delivery in terms of equity, broadband capacity, pedagogic capacity, infrastructure etc. Other forms of learning from email delivery of contents, assignments, TV, radio and mobiles for independent study experimented globally with off-site learning potential.

Disruptions caused by the pandemic and the deficiencies from the education institutions affected 23.8 million children, and youth (from pre-primary to higher education) dropped out from the system and witnessed a learning poverty of 63 per cent.

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