School Closure May Cost India Over $400 Billion: World Bank Report

Bhubaneswar: The World Bank report has revealed that the closure of schools in India may cause a loss of over $400 billion in the country’s future earnings, besides substantial learning losses, amid the coronavirus pandemic.

World Bank report titled ‘Beaten or Broken? Informality and COVID-19 in South Asia’ claims that South Asia is set to witness its worst-ever recession in 2020 due to COVID-19.

As per The Indian Express, the World Bank report said, “Temporary school closures in all South Asian countries have had major implications for students. They have kept 391 million students out of school in primary and secondary education, further complicating efforts to resolve the learning crisis. While most governments have made enormous efforts to mitigate the impact of school closures, it has been difficult to engage children through remote learning initiatives.”

The report also stated that due to the coronavirus pandemic, around 5.5 million students may drop from educational learning which will affect new generation students for a lifetime.

“Most school systems closed in March, and though there are important exceptions countries are starting to reopen or have already opened their schools. Children have been out of school for approximately 5 months. Being out of school for that long means that children not only stop learning new things, they also forget some of what they have learned. The projected learning loss for the region is 0.5 years of learning-adjusted years of schooling (LAYS), falling from 6.5 LAYS to 6.0 LAYS, an enormous setback from recent advances in schooling,” the report said.

Meanwhile, as per the fresh unlock guidelines by the central government, schools, colleges and other educational institutions outside COVID-19 containment zones can reopen after October 15. However, states and Union territories have to take final decisions on the matter as per the coronavirus situation in their region.

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