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Good Afternoon.
 
An opinion piece by Mayurdhar on the importance of 25% reservation in private schools for EWS and Disadvantaged Students has been featured in 'The Bastion'. Do read to know how the reservation can help schooling in a post-lockdown world.
 
Education in the times of a pandemic.
 
To educate or not? Gujarat has decided to suspend RTE admissions citing the pandemic even as it continues the process for regular admissions.
 
Assam has moved forward to close non-performing schools based on misplaced assumptions. This could negatively affect lakhs of children as sources in the MHRD cite schools reopening anytime before late August as unlikely. 
 
 
The pushback against remote learning is gaining steam. At a recent MHRD meeting, states have flagged the digital divide while Karnataka has decided to scrap live online classes completely for students up to the 5th grade. The move has split public opinion.
 
The Chairperson of the latest National Education Policy, Dr. K. Kasturirangan, says 'Creativity can’t be transferred through online classes'. This is backed by recent research from the US which proves the abrupt switch to remote learning wiped out academic gains for many students, and widened racial and economic gaps. Catching up later won’t be easy.
 
Policy & its impact.
 
The government has a critical couple of weeks ahead. The Supreme Court has given direction to send all migrant workers back home in 15 days. The finance ministry has asked all other ministries to not initiate any new schemes for this financial year as all resources need to be used prudently to fight COVID-19. 
 
The government is considering a significant infrastructure push and direct cash transfers to boost demand. They are also quoted to be actively considering a Universal Basic Income for the first time.
  
This could be because the latest MGNREGA data highlights less than desired results even as the food ministry awaits the PMO nod on extending the food grain scheme.
 
Perspectives.
And Finally.
 
Something to smile about. 
 
Anganwadi workers in Kerala are holding online sessions to advise pregnant women. The project, a community-based event, which began in 2019, had to be put on hold during the initial days of the COVID-19 lockdown but has later been revived through online sessions.
 
Have a safe and relaxing weekend. 
 
 
Indus Action Initiatives,
G-7, 2nd Floor,
Lajpat Nagar III,
New Delhi - 110024
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