The government may currently be focusing on how to generate income and revive the economy from the fallout meted by the coronavirus pandemic but one of the most important impacts of the crisis, which everyone is just missing out to focus on the yawning gulf between the 'haves' and 'have-nots' especially in the education sector.
Proper access to devices and stable internet connections has suddenly become the need of the hour for both school students as well as college-goers to continue their online classes. In case, anyone can not afford to fulfill the criteria, he or she would be left with no other option but to opt-out of the current academic year.
A very similar situation has occurred in Delhi, whereby over 166,000 students in government and municipal schools are found to be "missing", according to The Hindustan Times report, in an impact probably owing to the sudden shift to the online education system as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Schools say they can't trace them
The report says that the number of "missing" students roughly estimates to be 8.5 percent of the total students enrolled in all schools in the national capital.
The data, compiled by the Delhi education department and civic bodies that run the municipal schools, showed that these children have simply "fallen off the map", with respective schools claiming that they can no further trace those kids.
Government officials and school authorities have blamed the migration of thousands of families to their home states during and after the countrywide lockdown as well as the related shift to online education to be the main reasons behind the problem.
They said that had even paid door-to-door visits, sent letters and assignments to the specific addresses of those students as mentioned in their records, also formed peer groups to locate them but all in vain. It has been stated that the majority of those students were promoted from municipal schools at the end of the last academic session and were admitted to class 6 due to the pandemic times.
Fear of being pulled out
According to the latest figures available with the Delhi government and three civic bodies of East, North and South Delhi, the majority of the "missing" students were enrolled in schools run by the North Delhi Municipal Corporation.
Detailing the data further, officials at North MCD's education department said that around 20 percent or 58,000 of the total 290,000 students enrolled across 714 schools could not be reached despite several attempts over the past 10 months. Meanwhile, in schools run by the south civic body, around 15 percent or 44,000 of the 284,000 students in 581 schools were untraceable.
However, the situation in Delhi government schools is still said to be better with some 31,000 (approximately 2.5 percent) of the total 1,255,000 students enrolled in its 1,030 schools can't be found.
Authorities have also hunched that some of those students may have been pulled out of school and pushed into child labor due to financial difficulties wrought by the pandemic.
While students of 10th and 12th grades are already back in schools, those from classes 9th and 11th standard are expected to join from February 5.