India/ 11 August 2020/ Source/ https://www.thehindu.com/
By Tamil Nadu
Crisis has exacerbated pre-existing educational inequalities, says N. Ram
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused the largest disruption of education system in history, said N. Ram, Director, The Hindu Group of publications.
In a webinar addressing students from the Thiagarajar School Of Management (TSM), Mr. Ram said that the crisis has exacerbated pre-existing educational inequalities while referring to the United Nation’s ‘Policy Brief: Education during COVID-19 and beyond’.
He added that schools across 100 countries are yet to announce dates of reopening. Teachers, parents and children are still grappling with the realities of the impact of COVID-19.
He said that there would be inter-generational setbacks, especially regarding violence against women from low income backgrounds, due to loss of income and education. He added that those in the professional education segment would have a more cushioned situation. Mr. Ram, however said that the pandemic has also forced educational institutions to innovate through online education. “Some of the best scientific minds are putting out great content. This is bringing people together and is a huge effort,” he said.
He also said that it may be difficult for higher educational institutions across India to conduct exams as proposed by the University Grants Commission.
Mr. Ram said that young people who think that they are safe from COVID-19 must not believe that a magic line of safety exists around them. Masks must be worn to protect themselves and others against the virus and personal distancing must be strictly followed, he insisted.
There is no need for paranoia or nonchalance, he said and added that one must try to remain calm and show solidarity towards one’s community during this time. He added that everyone must also try to actively counter misinformation from all sources including the government.
Earlier while speaking at Edusights 2020, an international colloquium organised by the Sacred Heart Institute of Management Studies in Tirupattur recently, Mr. Ram said the unprecedented disruption of the educational system and the consequent loss of learning at all levels, was a matter of grave concern. India should learn from countries that had managed to work around COVID-19, he said.