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Broken Slates and Blank Screens - Education under a Lockdown

The country-wide lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic and attendant issues have led to major violations of civil liberties and human rights in India. While some restrictions on rights may have been necessitated by the nature of the pandemic, we believe that a large number of violations were entirely excessive, arbitrary and totally avoidable. The impact of this curtailment of rights and of civil liberties has been felt across all sectors including the economy, education, health, media, prisons, employment, migrant workers, women, domestic workers, sex workers, prisoners and their access to justice etc.

Five months after, it has become palpably clear that the lockdown has also been used by the Government to push through undemocratic means laws and policies which are against the people. In this context, PUCL Maharashtra has put together ‘Lockdown on Civil Liberties’, a series of reports of the impact on these restrictions on various segments. While some of the reports focus on the situation in Maharashtra, others deal with a pan-India situation.

“Broken Slates and Blank Screens: Education Under Lockdown” is the third in the series. This report brings out the state of education in Maharashtra in context of the lockdown – its implications for the rights of children and youth. The analysis while focusing on immediate impact of the pandemic sets this in context of the systemic issues plaguing education. So while it highlights the main issues due to the lockdown, it raises questions about framing policies that violate the fundamental principles of federalism and constitutional rights and promise of “Education for all”.

This report has been authored by Simantini Dhuru with the help of others from PUCL (Maharashtra) including, Meena Gopal, Lara Jesani, Chayanika Shah, Sandhya Gokhale, John D’Souza, Mihir Desai, and others.  Finally we thank Apekha Vora and Shrujuna Niranjani Sridhar for the cover page design.

 

Table of Contents

I. Introduction............................................. 1

II. The Context........................................... 3

III. Maharashtra - The purse-strings tell the story.................. 5

IV. Impact of Covid-19............................... 9

1. Early Childhood Care and Education................................. 9

2. Schools.............................................................................. 12

3. Higher Education............................................................... 26

IV. In conclusion........................................ 31

Annexure 1................................................ 33

Annexure 2................................................ 35

Annexure 3................................................ 38

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Tags: Covid-19