The novel coronavirus pandemic has led to the closure of schools for over five months, and they are unlikely to reopen any time soon. This not only affects students and parents in the short run, but is likely to have an impact on students learning levels, psychological development, and social engagement for years to come.

To prepare for the post-Covid-19 world, we need to discuss what happens when schools reopen. How should India deal with the challenge of school closures? What does the education system need to do to prepare for the reopening? And how can it ensure that the long gap in schooling is effectively filled to improve children’s’ learning levels and move on in their learning trajectories?

In this episode, Yamini Aiyar, President and Chief Executive of Centre for Policy Research, speaks with Dr Rukmini Banerji, CEO of Pratham, India’s leading NGO in the space of elementary education. Pratham has been playing an active role during this pandemic to connect with students and communities across the country and partner with governments to support learning. Banerji recommends leveraging the pandemic as an opportunity to truly integrate the community and parents in students’ learning, rethinking the curriculum to focus on basics and start where the child is in their learning trajectory.

For more information on the centre’s work, follow CPR on Twitter @CPR_India or visit You can listen to all the episodes in the Coronavirus Conversation series here.