Azim Premji Foundation reports; A study by the Azim Premji Foundation revealed that nearly 60 percent of school children in India cannot access online learning opportunities.
According to experts, more than a year and a half after the outbreak of the COVID pandemic in India, the digital divide has been facing challenges in distance learning and learning. Teaching and learning activities had to be taken online when the pandemic forced the closure of schools and colleges. While technology has ensured that learning is not completely suspended, the digital divide is making remote learning an ‘operational nightmare’.
60% of students cannot access online education learning
A study by the Azim Premji Foundation revealed that nearly 60 percent of school children in India cannot access online learning opportunities. A similar study conducted by Oxfam India found that half of the parents of students from urban private schools reported problems with internet signal and speed. A third was battling mobile data costs.
Azim Premji Foundation reports; According to a new national sample survey by ICRIER and LIRNEAsia, a think tank focused on digital policy, only 20 percent of school children in India had access to distance learning during the pandemic, of whom only half attended live online lessons.
School dropout rate during covid
In fact, 38 per cent of the households said that at least one child had dropped out of school due to Covid-19. “Digital schooling was the only logical way for children to continue learning during the pandemic. But now, some relevant issues need to be clearly addressed in order to build a more resilient system for the future, regardless of traditional schooling. Or be it digital education. The primary way forward,” said Amrita Singh, an education expert working on K12 education.
According to Delhi University professor Sangeeta Gadre, the problem of digital divide was faced at both ends of the academic transaction, be it teachers or students. “While advancing the cause of digitalisation, these challenges should be taken care of. We also need to be aware of the fact that women are proportionally more disadvantaged when it comes to the use of digital devices,” Ms. Gadre he said.
Relevance of technology
Urvashi Sawhney, Fellow of the Center for Universal Education at the Brookings Institution, said, “Technology has the potential to achieve universal quality education and improve learning outcomes. But to unleash its potential, address the digital divide and the embedded gender divide. should be done. .”
“Technology and access to the Internet is an urgent need in the information age. It should no longer be a luxury,” she said.
According to a professor at Ambedkar University, “The digital divide is making distance learning an operational nightmare. More than a year into the pandemic, it is still a challenge and cannot replace traditional classroom learning.”