Nobel laureate Abhijit Banerjee says that India needs to focus on undoing the widening gap of inequality in education caused by the pandemic as soon as possible.
"In India, as many as 320 million children have been affected by the school closure because of the pandemic," said Banerjee.
Banerjee said that only 25 percent of Indian households had broadband internet that was suitable for online classes. He said, "We need to take stock, we need to think about how we will reopen (schools) and partly about undoing the inequality consequences of this episode as fast as possible."
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) professor said that India is already slower than other countries at opening schools. He cautioned that this is a potentially frightening scenario since there is already massive inequality in the country.
Banerjee was addressing a virtual lecture hosted by Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) on November 24 when he pointed out that India needs to make a radical shift to skills-based education rather than the current content-based education system.
He added that the emphasis on content was holding back children from achieving their potential. "The Right to Education (RTE) Act requires that you complete the curriculum, it doesn't matter if the kids are learning, but you have to complete the curriculum," said Banerjee.
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