Whilst students felt this loss accounted for 40 to 60% of learning, university leaders claimed the loss only impacted learning by 30 to 40%.

Causes of learning loss.

According to a recent article, the learning loss has five sources: the digital divide, slow governance at government institutions, pre-existing capacity deficits, longer lockdowns than most countries, and weak online teaching / learning content.

Impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Covid has exploited the pre-existing challenges faced by India’s higher education system, which has 16% of the world’s university students. There are now widespread calls for physical learning to return as soon as possible, which will bring “innovation, financing, and diversity to overcome the challenges for teachers and students”.

India’s digital divide.

The learning loss from Covid has highlighted the need for accelerating Digital India to narrow the digital divide among poor, rural areas and disadvantaged communities. Digital divisions are one of the main pre-existing facets of higher education exposed by the pandemic, as the sudden reliance on technologies to educate masses of students meant any lag in digital development became instantly detrimental to learning.

To read more about India’s digital divide, visit the Bloomberg website.