Education has suffered greatly during the period of confinement due to the Covid-19 pandemic, as not everyone has been able to take online courses. About 67% of girls attended online classes in urban slums of Delhi, Maharashtra, Bihar and Telangana, while 56% of girls were unable to participate in recreational activities during the lockdown.
The study by the NGO Save The Children in February last year also found that 68% of girls aged 10 to 18 face difficulties in accessing health and nutrition services in these states. Delhi, Maharashtra, Bihar and Telangana represented the four geographical areas – east, west, north and south.
States were selected using a composite measure, including metrics such as Covid-19 incidence, child sex ratio, women marrying before age 18, annual dropout rate and women aged 15-24 using hygienic methods during the menstrual cycle. In each state, two districts or cities were selected.
During the 2020 lockdown, fear of infection, closure of schools and health centers, long queues and unavailability of health personnel made it difficult for adolescent girls to access health services and nutrition, according to the report entitled “Wings 2022: World of India’s Girls: Spotlight”. on adolescent girls amid Covid-19′ read.
After the lockdown, 51% of adolescent girls continued to face difficulties accessing health services. “Across all four states, one in three girls took online classes during the lockdown.
Three in four mothers (73%) indicated that the pandemic had had a significant negative impact on their daughter’s learning,” the report states.
Since schools closed, two out of five girls (42%) have not been contacted by school staff, as reported by mothers during the pandemic period. This has reduced opportunities for play and recreation, as schools are spaces where girls can participate in extracurricular activities and pursue creative pursuits with their classmates.
Report of girls missing classes during Covid-19 lockdown
One in two girls said they missed getting to and from school with siblings and friends. Many girls also missed playtime (46%), library class (40%), lunch break (35%) and drawing and painting class (30%).
The study also showed that job losses and reduced household income due to the pandemic increased the likelihood of child marriages.
“One in seven mothers (14%) felt the pandemic increased the risk of early marriage among girls,” he said.
Read: Covid-19: Reasons why India must reopen schools
Read: The impact of Covid-19 on schoolchildren to study: Delhi Govt