In a new study, One Health Trust researchers and collaborators evaluated the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on adolescent literacy and schooling outcomes in India. Using data collected through the National Family Health Survey spanning from June 2019 to April 2021, they found that literacy rates among girls aged 15 to 17 were 1.5 to 2 percent lower following the pandemic. Girls surveyed post-COVID also had 0.05 to 0.1 fewer years of schooling than pre-COVID girls, with no difference in out-of-school rates. These learning losses were most apparent among girls from the lowest wealth quintile and from rural areas compared to those from the highest wealth quintile and urban areas, respectively. In contrast, male adolescents had no change in literacy or schooling years due to the pandemic.

Learning loss among girls could be attributed to systemic gender discrimination in India and necessitates remedial education programs to mitigate the gendered impact of the pandemic on schooling attainment.

The article, “The Gendered Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Adolescent Literacy and Schooling Outcomes: New Evidence from National Survey Data in India,” first appeared in SSRN Preprint here. 

The final article publication can be found in NPJ, here.