Learning loss due to school closure is a major concern: UNICEF

NL Today

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Kathmandu: Closure of schools due to Covid-19 restrictions has severely hampered the learning of children, a report finds. The sevenths round CFT survey conducted by UNICEF during the period of July 11th to 18th, 2021 states that the loss of learning incurred by children during the school closures is a major concern in the current context.

With the severe disruptions over the previous and current academic year and limited and unequal access to alternative learning, nearly 90% of parents/caregivers confirmed to be concerned that their children are continuing to fall behind and are starting to forget things they had previously learned, the report states.

Fig 1: Respondents perception about child forgetting learning or falling behind

In terms of compensating these losses of learning, a large number (69%) of respondents reported that they perceived schools had not undertaken any efforts to address this in terms of supporting children to catch up.

At the same time, a number of parents/caregivers confirmed that they felt these efforts were made by the school through the provision of extra classes (6%) and/or alternative education modalities (23%) offered to their children, with this almost being double in the case of children enrolled in private schools (33%) compared to public schools (17%).
The provision of accelerated/remedial learning programs specifically focused on the recovery of learning loss were only reported in an extremely low number (1%) of all cases.

Fig 2: Schools efforts to make children catchup

Having said this, the trends observed across the different rounds of CFT show that a large number of children are not able to continue their learning at the appropriate levels and within that, a substantial part of children is expected to no longer be learning at all, the report adds.

With schools being closed, observation on children’s progress in classrooms and through daily interactions has seized, thus making it even more important for parents/caregivers to be supported in ensuring their children continue to study and for teachers to continue to connect with their students through alternative modalities, according to the report.

The report further states that genuine efforts were undertaken by the government, schools and teachers in response to what has been and remains an emergency of unprecedented proportions for the Nepal education sector.

“The trends observed across the different rounds of CFT show that a large number of children are not able to continue their learning at the appropriate levels and within that, a substantial part of children is expected to no longer be learning at all,” states the report.

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