Economic, infrastructural and psychological challenges faced by the students of Assam: a study during COVID-19 pandemic


psychology of students


A pandemic like the COVID-19 has caught everyone off-guard. The economy is in tatters, and the loopholes in the system are getting exposed. The education sector is no exception, especially in a developing country like India. With millions of students in India, the lockdown will have many unforeseen impacts. Moreover, the parents would be reluctant to send their wards to study even after the pandemic, and the actual effect of a lag in learning would be visible only in the long run. The necessity of e-learning in academia was felt only when the pandemic hit. The lack of ICT infrastructure and the absence of tech-savvy teachers have made studies an absolute roller-coaster ride for students. Apart from this, the already existing disparity between students from different economic strata would very likely broaden. Homebound is another factor affecting the students’ psychology towards study. This paper ventures into the problems faced by the students, especially from economic, infrastructural and psychological factors, ranging from primary to University level. It also attempts to segregate the students based on location and financial condition and understand the specific hindrances they face. Case studies from various locations of Assam provide a cluster of stories that would act as an index in developing the system when time is ‘conducive’.


Both authors would also like to acknowledge Gauhati University, Assam, India, for giving both academic and logistical support while writing the paper. We would also like to thank all the respondents who have provided their crucial information during the field survey.


Aguilera-Hermida, A. P. (2020). College students’ use and acceptance of emergency online learning due to COVID-19. International Journal of Educational Research Open, 1, 100011. DOI:

Al-Rabiaah, A., Temsah, M. H., Al-Eyadhy, A. A., Hasan, G. M., AlZamil, F., Al-Subaie, S., et al. (2020). Middle East respiratory syndrome-Corona virus (MERS-CoV) associated stress among medical students at a university teaching hospital in Saudi Arabia. Journal of Infection and Public Health, 13, 687-691. DOI:

Anaman, P. D., Zottor, D. M., & Egyir, J. K. (2022). Infrastructural Challenges and Student Academic Performance: Evidence from a Developing Nation. International Journal of Innovative Science and Research Technology, 7(11), 1189-1200.

Assam population (2011). Retrieved from

Baranowski, M. (2022). Nature-Based Social Welfare and Socially Responsible Consumption: Is Circular Economy a Viable Solution? In J. Bhattacharyya (Eds.), Dealing with Socially Responsible Consumers (pp. 33-50). Singapore: Palgrave Macmillan. DOI:

Baranowski, M., Cichocki, P., & McKinley, J. (2023). Social welfare in the light of topic modelling. Sociology Compass, 17(8), e13086. DOI:

Baranowski, M. & Jabkowski, P. (2023). On Virtual Mobility in Three Central European Universities: Similar but Different? Knowledge Cultures, 11(3), 82-100. DOI:

Barba, D., Grignoli, D., & D’Ambrosio, M. (2022). Emotional syntax from social construction to virtual function. Society Register, 6(4), 25-40. DOI:

Barrot, J. S. (2020). Scientific mapping of social media in education: A decade of exponential growth. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 59(4), 645-668. DOI:

Barrot, J. S. (2021). Social media as a language learning environment: A systematic review of the literature (2008–2019). Computer Assisted Language Learning, 35(9), 2534-2562. DOI:

Barrot, J. S., Lleares, I. I., & Rosario, L. S. (2021). Students’ online learning challenges during the pandemic and how they cope with them: The case of the Philippines. Education and Information Technologies, 26, 7321-7338. DOI:

Bester, G. & Brand, L. (2013). The effect of technology on learner attention and achievement in the classroom. South African Journal of Education, 33(2), 1-15. DOI:

Boelens, R., De Wever, B., & Voet, M. (2017). Four key challenges to the design of blended learning: A systematic literature review. Educational Research Review, 22, 1-18. DOI:

Brooks, S. K., Webster, R. K., Smith, L. E., Woodland, L., Wessely, S., Greenberg, N., & Rubin, G. J. (2020). The psychological impact of quarantine and how to reduce it: Rapid review of the evidence. The Lancet, 395, 912-920. DOI:

Bryner, J. (2020). 1st known case of coronavirus traced back to November in China. Livescience. Retrieved from

Cavanaugh, C. S., Barbour, M. K., & Clark, T. (2009). Research and practice in K-12 online learning: A review of open access literature. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 10(1), 1-22. DOI:

Choudhary, R. (2020). Covid-19 Pandemic: Impact and Strategies for Education Sector in India. ETGovernment, April 16. Retrieved from

Clements, D. H. & Nastasi, B. K. (1993). Electronic Media and Early Childhood Education. In B. Spodek (Ed.), Handbook of Research on the Education of Young Children (pp. 25175). New York: Macmillan.

COE-EDP. (2020). Learning Gap, Poverty and Online Risks: COVID-19 Impact on children. VisionRI’S Center of Excellence on Emerging Development Perspective, Assessed on August 2, 2020.

Conradie, M. S. (2023). A critical race theoretic analysis of vulnerability among teaching assistants in a South African Department of English. Society Register, 7(1), 75-94. DOI:

Cuesta, A., Glewwe, P., & Krause, B. (2016). School infrastructure and educational outcomes: A literature review, with special reference to Latin America. Economia, 17(1), 95-130. DOI:

Donitsa-Schmidt, S. & Ramot, R. (2020). Opportunities and challenges: Teacher education in Israel in the Covid-19 pandemic. Journal of Education for Teaching, 46(4), 586-595. DOI:

Elaish, M., Shuib, L., Ghani, N., & Yadegaridehkordi, E. (2019). Mobile English language learning (MELL): A literature review. Educational Review, 71(2), 257-276. DOI:

Express Web Desk (2021). Covid-19 India timeline: Looking back at pandemic-induced lockdown and how the country is coping with the crisis. The Indian Express. Retrieved from

Fawaz, M., Al Nakhal, M., & Itani, M. (2021). COVID-19 quarantine stressors and management among Lebanese students: A qualitative study. Current Psychology, 1-8. DOI:

Franchi, T. (2020). The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on current anatomy education and future careers: A student’s perspective. Anatomical Sciences Education, 13(3), 312-315. DOI:

Garcia, R., Falkner, K., & Vivian, R. (2018). Systematic literature review: Self-regulated learning strategies using e-learning tools for computer science. Computers & Education, 123, 150-163. DOI:

Gardner, P. J., & Moallef, P. (2015). Psychological impact on SARS survivors: Critical review of the English language literature. Canadian Psychology/Psychologie Canadienne, 56(1), 123-135. DOI:

Gonzalez, T., De La Rubia, M. A., Hincz, K. P., Comas-Lopez, M., Subirats, L., Fort, S., & Sacha, G. M. (2020). Influence of COVID-19 confinement on students’ performance in higher education. PLoS One, 15(10), e0239490. DOI:

Gplus (2020). Assam: Unable to Attend Online Classes, Student Allegedly Commits Suicide. GPlus News, June 24. Retrieved from

Gray, J. A. & DiLoreto, M, (2016). The effects of student engagement, student satisfaction, and perceived learning in online learning environments. NCPEA International Journal of Educational Leadership Preparation, 11(1), 1-20.

Gunaratana, V. H. (1994). Mindfulness in Plain English. Taipei: Bhavana Society.

Huang, L., Lei, W., Xu, F., Liu, H., & Yu, L. (2020). Emotional responses and coping strategies in nurses and nursing students during Covid19 outbreak: A comparative study. PLoS One, 15(8), e0237303. DOI:

Huang, Q. (2019). Comparing teacher’s roles of F2F learning and online learning in a blended English course. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 32(3), 190-209. DOI:

Huebener, M. Kuger, S., & Marcus, J. (2017). Increased instruction hours and the widening gap in student performance. Labour Economics, 47, 15-34. DOI:

Human Development Report, Assam. (2014). Managing Diversities, Achieving Human Development. Retrieved from

John, P. D. & Wheeler, S. (2008). The Digital Classroom: Harnessing the power of technology for the future of learning and teaching. New York: Routledge/David Falmer.

Jones, L., Palumbo, D., & Brown, D. (2021), Coronavirus: How the pandemic has changed the world economy. BBC News,, Accessed on 11/1/2023.

Kapasia, N., Paul, P., Roy, A., Saha, J., Zaveri, A., Mallick, R., & Chouhan, P. (2020). Impact of lockdown on learning status of undergraduate and postgraduate students during COVID-19 pandemic in West Bengal. India. Children and Youth Services Review, 116, 105194. DOI:

Kebritchi, M., Lipschuetz, A., & Santiague, L. (2017). Issues and challenges for teaching successful online courses in higher education: A literature review. Journal of Educational Technology Systems, 46(1), 4-29. DOI:

Khalil, R., Mansour, A. E., Fadda, W. A., Almisnid, K., Aldamegh, M., Al-Nafeesah, A., & Al-Wutayd, O. (2020). The sudden transition to synchronized online learning during the COVID-19 pandemic in Saudi Arabia: A qualitative study exploring medical students’ perspectives. BMC Medical Education, 20(1), 1-10. DOI:

Konwar, P., (2019), Norms, Estimates and Trends of Poverty in Assam. International Journal of Multidisciplinary Educational Research, 8(3), 23-31. DOI:

Kubacka, M., Mroczkowska, D., & Frąckowiak-Sochańska, M. (2023). Boundaryless work-life interface among working parents in Poland during COVID-19. Society Register, 7(2), 71-84. DOI:

Kwaśniewska-Paszta, S. M. (2022). Death in children’s literature against the background of selected child and childhood discourses. Society Register, 6(2), 109-132. DOI:

Li, C. & Lalani, F. (2020). The COVID-19 Pandemic has Changed Education Forever. This is How. World Economic Forum. Accessed on August 2, 2020.

Lytras, M. D., Gasevic, D., Ordonez de Pablos, P., & Huang, W. (2008). Technology Enhanced Learning: Best Practices. New York: IGI Publishing. DOI:

Marquez-Ramos, L. & Mourelle, E. (2019). Education and economic growth: an empirical analysis of nonlinearities. Applied Economic Analysis, 27(79), 21-45. DOI:

Mettler, E., Massey, C. M., &Kellman, P. J. (2011). Improving Adaptive Learning Technology through the Use of Response Times. Grantee Submission.

Neisser, U. (1976). Skills of divided attention. Cognition, 4, 215-230. DOI:

O’Keeffe, G. S. & Clarke-Pearson, K. (2011). The impact of social media on children, adolescents, and families. Pediatrics, 127(4), 800-804. DOI:

Olufunke, B. T. (2012). Effect of Availability and Utilization of Physics Laboratory Equipment on Students’ Academic Achievement in Senior Secondary School Physics. World Journal of Education, 2(5), 1-7. DOI:

Pagani, L., Fortunati, L., & Farinosi, M. (2023). Local government under stress: How a small village community has reacted to the COVID-19 emergency. Society Register, 7(1), 7-34. DOI:

Rai, S. (2020). COVID-19 has Hit Poor Children and Their Education Very Hard. Deccan Herald, July 14. Retrieved from

Rasheed, R. A., Kamsin, A., & Abdullah, N. A. (2020). Challenges in the online component of blended learning: A systematic review. Computers & Education, 144, 103701. DOI:

Rinne, C. H. (1997). Excellent classroom management. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing Company.

Saikia, M. & Mahanta, R. (2023a). Measurement of Vulnerability to Climate Change in Char Areas: A Survey. Ecology, Economy and Society–the INSEE Journal, 6(1), 13-30. DOI:

Saikia, M. & Mahanta, R. (2023b). Vulnerability to climate change and its measurement: A survey. Boreal Environment Research, 28, 111-124.

Saikia, M. & Mahanta, R. (2023c). Does Livestock Loss Affect Livelihood? An Investigation on Char Residing Mishing Community of Assam. International Journal of Community Well-Being, 6, 327-351. DOI:

Saikia, M. & Mahanta, R. (2023d). Riverbank Erosion and vulnerability – a study on the char dwellers of Assam, India. Natural Hazards Research, pre-proof. DOI:

Saikia, M. & Mahanta, R. (2023e). Livestock, livestock loss and livelihood: a note on Mishing char dwellers of Assam. Society Register, 7(4), 57-70. DOI:

Saikia, M. & Mahanta, R. (2024a). Can institutions reduce the vulnerability to climate change? A study on the char lands of Assam, India. GeoJournal, 89, 22. DOI:

Saikia, M. & Mahanta, R. (2024b). An application of adjusted livelihood vulnerability index to assess vulnerability to climate change in the char areas of Assam, India. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 103, 104330. DOI:

Savolainen, H., Engelbrecht, P., Nel, M., & Malinen, O. P. (2012). Understanding teachers’ attitudes and self-efficacy in inclusive education: Implications for preservice and in-service teacher education. European Journal of Special Needs Education, 27(1), 51-68. DOI:

Schmidt, I. (2022). Economic ideas, capital logic and class struggle: reflections towards a people’s history of economics. Society Register, 6(3), 73-90. DOI:

Shmis, T., Ustinova, M., & Chugunov, D. (2019). Learning environments and learning achievement in the Russian Federation: How school infrastructure and climate affect student success. Washington, DC: World Bank Publications. DOI:

Singh, A. (2020). Online Learning and Education for All During and After COVID-19 Pandemic. Retrieved from

Singh, V. & Thurman, A. (2019). How many ways can we define online learning? A systematic literature review of definitions of online learning (1988–2018). American Journal of Distance Education, 33(4), 289-306. DOI:

Skoczylas, Ł., Piątek, W., Olszanowski, J., & Golędzinowski, F. (2023). Restrictions on religious practices in selected European countries during the COVID-19 pandemic: A legal-sociological study from Poland’s experiences. Society Register, 7(1), 35-52. DOI:

Streeck, W. (2023). Reflections on the particular and the universal: unity and diversity in social life and social theory. Society Register, 7(2), 7-20. DOI:

Süld, E. (2022). Multicultural education in Estonia: why is it powerless in responding to islamophobia? Society Register, 6(2), 61-86. DOI:

Tallent-Runnels, M. K., Thomas, J. A., Lan, W. Y., Cooper, S., Ahern, T. C., Shaw, S. M., & Liu, X. (2006). Teaching courses online: A review of the research. Review of Educational Research, 76(1), 93-135. DOI:

Telecom Statistics India (2018). Economics Research Unit – Statistics, Department of Telecommunications, Ministry of Communications, Government of India. New Delhi, 2018.

Tsang, P., Kwan, R., & Fox, R. (2007). Enhancing Learning through Technology: Research on Emerging Technologies and Pedagogies. New Jersey: World Scientific Publishing.

Usher, M. & Barak, M. (2020). Team diversity as a predictor of innovation in team projects of face-toface and online learners. Computers & Education, 144, 103702. DOI:

Varea, V. & González-Calvo, G. (2020). Touchless classes and absent bodies: Teaching physical education in times of COVID-19. Sport, Education and Society, 1–15. DOI:

Wallace, R. M. (2003). Online learning in higher education: A review of research on interactions among teachers and students. Education, Communication & Information, 3(2), 241-280. DOI: