Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (IIM-A) surveyed 375 rural households and 700 children to assess the access to education and difficulties faced by students, parents and teachers due to COVID-19 protocols. They also researched the effectiveness of the online classes and the barriers faced due to lack of access to technology and the internet. IIM-A conducted this survey along with the United Nations Children’s Fund under its initiative, Knowledge Management and Innovation for Change (KMIC) .
IIM-A gave following suggestions for conducting both physical and online classes-
Launch a helpline for parents belonging to low-income groups to assist them in sending their kids to schools with precautions. They must be allowed to enrol their children into nearby schools for easy commutation at any time of the year while simplifying the enrollment process.
The schools must train their teachers to conduct online classes and hold review sessions for them and the parents. They must also be provided with basic equipment including mobile phones and internet access to help conduct the online classes.
The administration must ensure that children from Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) studying in private schools receive an allowance of Rs 3000 per month. Timely funds transfer to such schools must be ensured.
Each school must issue standard Operating Procedures (SOPS) to ensure social distancing inside classrooms and regular sanitisation of the building.
The report has been authored by faculty members, researchers and interns including Ankur Sarin, Karan Singhal, Vaidehi Parameswaran, Bianca Shah, Ishu Gupta, and Shraddha Upadhyay.