Gendered Impacts on Access to Education and Technology During COVID-19

This QR-GCRF Partnership Development Project (2020) addresses issues that are contributing to greater uncertainties regarding equal access to education and right technology to ensure continuity in education for all. The project addresses the sustainable development goals 3, 4 and 7.

COVID-19 will cause an additional 6.8million children to drop out from school and 60% of these drop outs will be between ages 12 and 17 years. UNESCO and World Bank data shows that prior to the pandemic, 43% of children around the world will still be learning-poor in 2030 but this figure increases to 53% due to the pandemic.

UNESCO estimated that over 89% of the world's student population were out of school/university because of COVID, forcing them to take up online lessons as the only alternative to continue in low-tech or no-internet environments. Causing those in these environments to drop out first to compensate for increased domestic care at home. Out of the 267million young people globally classified as NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training), 181million are young women and this figure will only increase if immediate remedial action is not taken. Economic recessions and pandemics like this ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, typically leave behind a degree of economic scarring and slower growth in subsequent years. Without immediate remedial action, drop out rate for girls from schools/universities will continue to rise, making way for early marriages, sexual exploitation and domestic violence.

Through interviews and focus groups, this project will help to gather evidence of the challenges faced by adolescent girls regarding access to education in India, to inform future policy implications and share best practices that can be transferred to wider global contexts.

Project Team

Dr Sunrita Dhar-Bhattacharjee, ARU - Principal Investigator

Dr Chris Foulds, ARU - Co-Investigator

Dr Obehi Sule, ARU - Co-Investigator

Professor Priyankar Upadhayav, Banaras Hindu University

Professor Anjoo Upadhayav, Banaras Hindu University

Professor Suranjan Das, Jadavpur University

Professor Najma Akhtar, Jamia Millia Islamia University

Professor Aejaz Masih, Jamia Millia Islamia University

Dr Aarti Srivastava, NIEPA

For more information on the project, please contact Dr Sunrita Dhar-Bhattacharjee.