Influence of First Wave of Covid-19 Pandemic on Adolescent Girl’s Schooling/Studies in Jharkhand, India

Hanimi Modugu, International Center for Research On Women (ICRW)
Pranita Achyut, Icrw
Paras Verma, International Center for Research on Women
Rajendra Singh, International Center for Research on Women (ICRW)
Ravi K. Verma, International Center for Research on Women (ICRW)

With closure of schools for more than a year, 10 million girls may never be able to return to school, putting them at risk of early marriage, poverty, and violence. Aim of this research is to understand influence of pandemic on participation of girls in digital learning platforms, likelihood of returning to school and support required to continue studies. A cross-sectional household survey was conducted in February-March 2021 with 479 adolescent girls and 477 parents in Jharkhand, India. Eighty two percent girls were in school prior to lockdown and 18% dropped out, in 2019-20. A girl who has dropped-out from school is three times more likely to marry and enter informal labour-force. Digital learning reached just 38-43% girls. During intense-lockdown 80% girls lost interest in studies and one year after lockdown this proportion reduced to 55%. Eighty eight percent girls are most likely to continue studies, 2% mostly likely to discontinue, and 9% are vulnerable for drop-out, post-pandemic. Although majority girls are likely to continue studies, inability to focus on studies may affect performance and increase risk of dropout. Almost all girls require support in terms of transport, scholarship, tuition - for continuing studies, important message government to consider in COVID response strategy.

Keywords: COVID-19, Gender, Applied demography

See extended abstract.

  Presented in Session 189. Population and Development: Human Capital Perspectives