Pandemic Strikes Hard on Girls Education: Parliament Panel

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MORE FEMALE STUDENTS MAY DROPOUT TO COMPENSATE FOR ECONOMIC HARDSHIP AND TAKE CARE OF HOUSEHOLD TASKS AND CHILD CARE, IN THE POST-PANDEMIC SCENARIO: THE COMMITTEE ON WOMEN EMPOWERMENT”

COVID19 has drastically impacted the lives of common people all over the world. However, the most vulnerable communities such as the poor, children and women have been affected the most. While addressing the ill effects of the pandemic, the committee on women empowerment raised concerns regarding girls education during the winter session of parliament.

In the report, the committee mentioned, “school closure in India affected 320 million children enrolled from pre-primary to tertiary levels of education. It has been estimated that of these, about 158 million are female students.” There is already a challenge persisting in the form of low enrollment in rural schools when it comes to female education. Now the dropout rate of 15.1 (2019-2020), according to the report, retaining female students in schools is posing another challenge.

The major concern of the committee is that more female students may drop out to compensate for economic hardship and take care of household tasks and child care, in the post-pandemic scenario. Therefore, a full-fledged plan of not only tracking the dropped out kids but bringing them back to school is necessary. 

Suggestions to improve the condition

The panel made recommendations on incentivising the participation of more female students by offering scholarships and cash prizes. The digital divide has posed the biggest hindrance during online classes, therefore offering smartphones or hostel facilities has been suggested. 

Meanwhile, the panel has acknowledged the Center’s initiative of “Map out of school children.” Which is a household survey to mark the dropped out kids and prepare guidelines to bring them back. 

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