81.24% of schools in India will partially reopen in January: Survey

Hyderabad: Only 5.28 per cent of schools in India have re-opened so far, and 81.24 per cent of them will partially open by January 2021, finds a survey-based study by Indian School Finance Company (ISFC). After the pandemic forced lockdown in March-end, schools across the country were shut.

With a sample size of 2,000 schools, the study is based on two surveys from September to December and gives insight into the schooling system of India following the COVID-19 outbreak.

The study reveals that the fee collection has taken the biggest hit with 17.06 per cent of schools reporting no collection’ this year. 59.74 per cent of schools further claimed that their inflow was less than 40 per cent in 2020. The decreased revenues naturally disrupted the staff and salary management with 26.49 per cent accepting to have reduced workforce while 36.43 per cent claimed salary reductions. However, a majority of schools stood firmly with their employees despite harsh economic conditions.

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A key takeaway of the study was that there is a marked improvement in nearly all areas now (as per November-December study surveying 552 schools vis-à-vis September-October study surveying 360 schools). For instance, more than two-thirds of 68.10 per cent of schools are now conducting online classes, whereas, only 40.05 per cent of schools had been doing so till October. Such factors, including economic indicators and job prospects, are expected to enhance further in the near-term.

Speaking on the survey findings, Sandeep Wirkhare, MD & CEO, ISFC said, “It is to state the obvious that 2020 was a year unlike any other. We saw paradigm-changing disruptions across the horizontal market with digital approaches replacing the conventional ones.”

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Further, Sandeep also stated that the schools were perhaps one of the worst-hit segments as they largely rely on their physical infrastructure. The academic loss of students along with schools’ own financial shortfall was limited to an extent by conducting online classes, a trend that continues to grow.

“Now, when 2020 comes to a close, it’s good to know that nearly all indicators are encouraging and there are green shoots of revival,” he added.

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