Unequal access to education worsened during Covid-19: Atishi

Aam Aadmi Party MLA Atishi Marlena on Monday said that the party-led Delhi government’s initiatives on quality education and its unique approach for all sections of students are being recognised worldwide.

Participating in the ‘Harvard India Conference – 2021″ on the subject of tackling unequal access to education worsened by Covid-19, she said: “In India, the quality of education worsens as you go down the economic spectrum, but during Covid-19, the gap deepened even more.”

“What we have had in the last one year was that a very large segment of children who could not access any formal education. I think this gap that has been created is a very serious one. Education in elite private schools has been virtually uninterrupted, but in government schools, there have been lack of laptops, mobile phones or Wifi at homes. Children have missed an entire year,” she said.

“We will be able to open schools in July- August 2021 but our biggest challenge then will be how to deal with the learning loss.”

Marlena also stressed on the role of family and community in shaping the future children.

“The real outcome of Covid-19 time for me is not as much the question of continuing online education, but the growing role of parents, the family and the community. It is something we can really build upon,” she added.

She noted that the Delhi government has reached out to parents to keep them in the loop and enquire about challenges faced at home. During the Covid-19 period, emphasis was given on building relationships between the school and the home, she noted.

“In the past five to six years, the Delhi government school model has been appreciated for its attention to parent-teacher interaction through regular meetings and the pandemic has further strengthened the idea of involving parents in the teaching and learning process.”

In reply to a query if it was fair to continue to have board exams or should they be postponed, she said: “Rather than asking whether we should postpone board exams this year, we have to ask ourselves what we are assessing children on. This is a question that we have always faced as a country.”