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Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report 2020

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Not Much

Mains level : Impact of coronovirus outbreak on Education system

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated inequalities in education systems across the world a/c to the latest GEM report.

Practice question for mains:

Q.Discuss the impact of COVID-19 induced lockdown on India’s education sector.

About the report

  • Originally the EFA Global Monitoring Report, it has been renamed as the Global Education Monitoring Report.
  • It is developed by an independent team and published by UNESCO aimed to sustain commitment towards Education for All.
  • The ‘UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS), based in Montreal provides data for the report on students, teachers, school performance, adult literacy and education expenditure.

Highlights of the 2020 report

  • The report noted that efforts to maintain learning continuity during the pandemic may have actually worsened exclusion trends.
  • During the height of school closures in April 2020, almost 91% of students around the world were out of school.
  • About 40% of low- and lower-middle-income countries have not supported learners at risk of exclusion during this crisis, such as the poor, linguistic minorities and learners with disabilities.

1. Risks of school closure

  • School closures also interrupted support mechanisms from which many disadvantaged learners benefit.
  • For poor students who depend on school for free meals or even free sanitary napkins, closures has been a major blow.
  • Cancellation of examinations in many countries, including India, may result in scoring dependence on teachers’ judgements of students, which could be affected by stereotypes of certain types of students.

2. Substitutes were imperfect

  • Education systems responded with distance learning solutions, all of which offered less or more imperfect substitutes for classroom instruction said the report.
  • Many poorer countries opted for radio and television lessons, while some upper-middle-income countries adopted for online learning platforms for primary and secondary education.
  • India has used a mix of all three systems for educational continuity.

3. The digital divide has resurfaced yet again

  • Even as governments increasingly rely on technology, the digital divide lays bare the limitations of this approach.
  • Not all students and teachers have access to an adequate internet connection, equipment, skills and working conditions to take advantage of available platforms.
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