Learning Disruption, Digital Divide, and COVID-19 Management Measures in India

13 Pages Posted: 27 Aug 2020

See all articles by Abhradeep Karmakar

Abhradeep Karmakar

University of New Mexico

Soumyajit Chakraborty

University of New Mexico

Kritika Sen

University of New Mexico

Avinandan Chakraborty

University of New Mexico - Department of Economics

Date Written: August 21, 2020

Abstract

School closures as a preventive strategy for the spread of COVID-19 has led to a learning disruption among children in most countries. We study the efficacy of a set of pandemic management measures (PMM) adopted by the Government of India in dampening the adverse impact of COVID-19 on children’s education. By adopting a simple theoretical framework, we conduct comparative statics to analyze the effects of policies such as strict social distancing, provision of online classes, and stimulus packages on the net benefit from education. Our study suggests that while mandates of school closure can diminish the adverse effect on the net benefit from education, keeping children away from school for extended periods may hamper their learning potential. We posit that provision of online classes can aid the recovery in decline in net benefits. However, due to the prevalence of digital divide among students, ones facing acute inaccessibility of online classes experience a greater disruption in learning than their peers, who do not face such technological barriers. With the implementation of a targeted stimulus package, learning disruption tends to be lower for technologically deprived students. From a policy perspective, we recommend that a targeted education stimulus package to prevent learning disruption has the potential to decelerate the decline in net benefits from education in times of a crisis.

Keywords: COVID-19, digital divide, household, learning disruption, online classes, pandemic, social distancing

JEL Classification: D1, I2, I28, I38, J24

Suggested Citation

Karmakar, Abhradeep and Chakraborty, Soumyajit and Sen, Kritika and Chakraborty, Avinandan, Learning Disruption, Digital Divide, and COVID-19 Management Measures in India (August 21, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3678424 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3678424

Abhradeep Karmakar (Contact Author)

University of New Mexico ( email )

1915 Roma NE/Economics Building
Albuquerque, NM 87131
United States
5055701799 (Phone)

Soumyajit Chakraborty

University of New Mexico ( email )

1915 Roma NE/Economics Building
Albuquerque, NM 87131
United States

Kritika Sen

University of New Mexico ( email )

1915 Roma NE/Economics Building
Albuquerque, NM 87131
United States

Avinandan Chakraborty

University of New Mexico - Department of Economics ( email )

1915 Roma NE/Economics Building
Albuquerque, NM 87131
United States

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