New Delhi: According to a report by the World Bank, the long closure of schools due to the coronavirus pandemic may lead to a loss of over USD 400 billion in India's future earning besides substantial learning losses.
The report – "Beaten or Broken? Informality and COVID-19 in South Asia" claim that South Asia will face its worst-ever recession in 2020, as the catastrophic impacts of the novel coronavirus still remain to stay on the region's economies. In the present scenario, the region is ready to lose USD 622 billion from the prolonged closure of schools. If the situation worsens, it may lead to USD 880 billion. The regional loss is largely driven by India, however, all the other countries of the region will lose considerable shares of their GDP.
The report said that the temporary closure of schools in the region has largely impacted the students. "They have kept 391 million students out of school in primary and secondary education, further complicating efforts to resolve the learning crisis," said the report.
Although various governments have made enormous efforts to alleviate the impact of schools being closed, it has been tough to engage students through various remote learning initiatives. The pandemic may lead to 5.5 million students dropping out of schools, which will further cause substantial learning losses.
The students have been out of school since March, this not means that they have stopped learning new things but have also forgotten o few of what they have learned before. The report said, "The projected learning loss for the region is 0.5 years of learning-adjusted years of schooling (LAYS), falling from 6.5 LAYS to 6.0 LAYS, an enormous setback from recent advances in schooling."
The concept of 'Learning Adjusted Year of Schooling' (LAYS) is introduced by the World Bank. It combines quality (how much kids know at a given grade level) and quantity (years of schooling) into a single measure of human capital in a society.
The report shows that based on the country data on household labor incomes, the average child in South Asia may lose USD 4,400 in his/her lifetime earnings once they enter the labour market. This is equal to 5% of their total earnings.
The governments of this region spend only USD 400 billion on primary and secondary education in a year. This loss due to the current closure is much higher than what they usually spend on education.
The educational institutions of India remained shut since March 15. However, the recent unlock guidelines allow the institutions to reopen except for those in the containment zones. It depends upon the states and Union territories to reopen the institutions or not.
The virus has affected more than 71 lakh Indians, with the fatalities being more than 1 lakh.