More painfully, the survey finds that, it may take three years to repair this gap.
Both universities and students feel that Covid-19 has led to a learning loss for students. While students feel the loss is between 40% and 60%, university leaders state that the loss has been 30% to 40%. In fact, this loss is double the learning poverty estimated by the World Bank and learning loss of G7 countries. More painfully, the survey finds that, it may take three years to repair this gap.
These are the findings from the TeamLease Edtech survey ‘Covid-19 Learning Loss in Higher Education’, which found that this learning loss has five sources: the digital divide, slow governance at government institutions, pre-existing capacity deficits, longer lockdowns than most countries, and weak online teaching/learning content.
Shantanu Rooj, CEO, Teamlease Edtech, said, “India has 35 million of the world’s 222 million university students. Learning is a perennial pandemic for many Indian learners, but Covid-19 has been catastrophic because of our many pre-existing challenges. The immediate policy response should be opening all universities for physical learning and the most impactful response is bringing forward the 15-year implementation timetable for the New Education Policy (NEP) to five years. The university system is in shock and accelerating the timetable will bring innovation, financing and diversity to overcome the challenges for teachers and students.”
The survey highlights 10 steps to bring down this learning loss, and, of these, five are critical and deserve immediate attention. First, the learning loss must be blunted by immediately allowing all universities and colleges to open with necessary precautions. Second, all universities must be immediately and automatically licensed for online learning. Third, we must accelerate Digital India to blunt the digital divide among the poor, rural areas, and disadvantaged communities. Fourth, the higher education sector to be financially supported by government funds and banks (like healthcare has been) for a one-time Covid-driven capital expenditure in digital infrastructure, training and transition. Fifth, accelerate the implementation of the National Education Policy 2020 (NEP) from 15 years to five years. “This will accelerate digitisation, erase regulatory barriers between employability and education, and accelerate innovation in higher education,” the report added.