Human Development

International Day of Education

  • Blog Post Date 22 January, 2021
  • Perspectives
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24 January is observed by the United Nations as the International Day of Education, to highlight the importance of education for sustainable development and to promote universal, equitable, and inclusive education. The 2021 theme is “Recover and revitalize education for the Covid-19 generation”, with a focus on placing education and lifelong learning at the centre of the pandemic-recovery process. This page presents selected I4I content pertaining to the provision of and access to education in India – with particular focus on schooling during Covid-19 and related issues of technology and facilities, learning outcomes, and disparities across socioeconomic groups.

Covid-19 and schooling: 2020 experience and way forward

I4I Editor-in-Chief Ashok Kotwal speaks with Rukmini Banerji (CEO of Pratham; India’s largest education non-profit) and Wilima Wadhwa (Director, Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) Centre). Banerji and Wadhwa discuss the mechanics of the ASER 2020 phone survey; availability of educational materials and learning activities in rural homes; how families, communities, and schools came together to keep up children’s learning; sharing resources over WhatsApp and what this implies for equity and the existing learning deficit; expected enrolment and attendance trends when schools reopen, and ‘building back better’ in terms of foundational skills to catch-up on this lost year.

Educational facilities, systems, and infrastructure

Covid-19: Online classes and the digital divide - Abhiroop Mukhopadhyay (Indian Statistical Institute, Delhi Centre)
[Infographic] [Read in Hindi] [Hindi Infographic]

Disparity in access to quality education and the digital divide - Sabir Ahamed (Pratichi Institute), Md. Zakaria Siddiqui (BITS Pilani Hyderabad)

Learning environment as third teacher? Evidence on the impact of school infrastructure- Diego Ambasz (World Bank), Tigran Shmis (World Bank), Maria Ustinova (World Bank), Kumar Vivek (World Bank)

Teacher accountability: Non-teaching work over classroom engagement - Indira Patil (Vidya Bhawan Society)
[Read in Hindi]

Can India improve its public schools? Research says yes - Naveen Kumar (University of California, San Diego)
[Read in Hindi]

Common tongue? How mother tongue instruction influences education - Tarun Jain (Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad), Revathy Suryanarayana (Cornell University)
[Video] [Read in Hindi]

Learning outcomes

Building foundations well: The challenge for primary education - Rukmini Banerji (Pratham)
[Read in Hindi]

School education in India: Equity in learning? - Wilima Wadhwa (ASER)

A quiet revolution: The case of primary education in Uttar Pradesh - Shobhini Mukerji (J-PAL South Asia)
[Read in Hindi]

Providing information on school quality in a dysfunctional public education system - Farzana Afridi (Indian Statistical Institute, Delhi Centre)

Intergenerational mobility

It runs in the family: Parents’ education and child learning outcomes - Naveen Sunder (Cornell University)

Are Indian girls more educated than their mothers? - Ashish Singh (Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay)

Does non-farm growth in rural areas reduce intergenerational educational mobility? - M. Shahe Emran (Columbia University), Francisco Ferreira (London School of Economics), Yajing Jiang (Charles River Associates), Yan Sun (World Bank)

In which countries do children have the best chances to surpass their parents' education? - Ambar Narayan (World Bank), Roy Van der Weide (World Bank)

Gender and education

Nakusha: Son preference, ‘unwanted’ girls, and gender gaps in schooling - Ashwini Deshpande (Ashoka University), Apoorva Gupta (Delhi School of Economics)
[Video] [Infographic] [Read in Hindi] [Hindi Video]

Whither female disadvantage? An analysis of private school enrolment in India - Pushkar Maitra (Monash University), Sarmistha Pal (University of Surrey), Anurag Sharma (University of New South Wales)
[Infographic] [Read in Hindi]

Why do parents invest in girls’ education? Evidence from rural India - Abigail Adams, (University of Oxford), Alison Andrew (Institute for Fiscal Studies)
[Infographic] [Read in Hindi] [Hindi Infographic]

Preferences or expectations? Understanding the gender gap in choice of college majors - Anisha Sharma (Ashoka University), Aparajita Dasgupta (Ashoka University)

Health and education

How birth weight affects test scores during mid-childhood years - Santosh Kumar (Sam Houston State University), Utkarsh Singh (University of Texas, Austin)

How sanitation facilities in schools can improve educational outcomes - Anjali Adukia (University of Chicago)

The precocious period: Impact of early menarche on schooling in India - Madhulika Khanna (Georgetown University)
[Read in Hindi]

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