Prolonged closure of schools since the pandemic began has had “catastrophic consequences” on children’s education, according to a new survey of 1,362 schoolkids from underprivileged homes in 15 states and UTs. The survey revealed that in rural areas, 37% of the sample students were not studying at all—it’s 19% in urban areas— and only 8% were studying online regularly. As many as 48% of the rural children surveyed were not able to read more than a few words.

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