This article has been edited from its original version. It was originally published in its entirety in the International Monetary Fund’s Spring 2022 issue of Finance & Development magazine. Yamini Aiyar is president and chief executive of India’s Center for Policy Research. The opinions expressed in this commentary are her own.
My children last entered their school gates on March 10, 2020, weeks before India’s national lockdown was announced. Two years on, schools in much of the country remain closed. Some states went against the tide and reopened in 2021 — but only partially, limiting attendance to higher grades and only half the student body on a given day. Each time cases surged, schools were the first to close and only restarted in person months after every other economic activity had resumed.