University students feel that Covid-19 has led to a learning loss. As many as 85 per cent of students have agreed to have faced a learning loss. A recent report by edtech company TeamLease titled “COVID 19 Learning Loss in Higher Education” claims that the losses are so high that it may take up to three years to repair the gap.
While students feel that the loss is between 40 and 60 per cent, universities state that the loss is between 30 to 40 per cent. The reasons behind the learning loss are the digital divide, slow governance at government institutions, pre-existing capacity deficits, longer lockdowns than most countries, and weak online teaching/learning content.
TeamLease conducted the research survey with more than 700 students and 75 university leaders across the country to assess their estimations of learning loss. “The Covid-19 lockdown obviously included our 1000+ universities and 45,000+ college (as per industry research); this certainly helped prevent the spread of the virus but forced the colleges and universities to operate in unfamiliar ways, suspend activities like research, and pivot online,” TeamLease Edtech said.
Digital India must be accelerated to reduce the digital divide among the poor, rural areas, and disadvantaged communities. Higher education sectors should be financially supported by government funds and banks for a one-time COVID driven capital expenditure in digital infrastructure, training, and transition, said TeamLease.