The coronavirus pandemic has brought everything to the digital world. All academic programs have gone online. The classes have gone virtual and exams will be written online. Seeing this, the experts warn that the country may turn it into an “operational nightmare.”
Many unfortunate incidents occurred in recent times due to digital education. A Kerala girl suicide for not having access to a smartphone, students sit on rooftops for hours due to poor connectivity, fight between siblings to get over the gadgets are few things to take into account.
Only less than 15 of rural households have access over the internet. Some poor people are not able to afford a smartphone. The HOD of Department of Sociology in Delhi University, Rajini Palriwala said in a statement that “The implications of school closures in the country due to Covid-19 pandemic are not just about education. They are manifold. The Kerala schoolgirl’s death, pictures of a girl trying to study from a tilted rooftop to get signals, three kids in a house trying to have their share of their parents’ phone to attend the lessons, these are worrisome case studies. “An unprecedented social disaster can be avoided if more entities pitch into the short-term and long-term future of the children in this digital divide,”
The schools and colleges have been closed from March 16. After a few days the education went into the digital platform in order to complete the syllabus. It is still unclear as how many are deprived of internet facilities.
Delhi professor reported to the press that though the colleges and schools have found an alternate mode of educating, it possesses certain flaws too. The students belonging to the rural-India might not have enough access to the facilities as they are available to the urban students.
He further mentioned that by conducting the exams online will push down the students belonging to the economically backward sections and students with disabilities. He along with three other members took forward this issue to President Ram Nath Kovind through a letter.
Many people in the various departments expressed their concern over this digital education. Though this alternate mode has enabled continuous learning amid pandemic, it also has few setbacks to note to. This system has largely affected the poor sections of the society. Though all learning is happening online, only a few areas have implemented it in a full-fledged manner. A fellow student the Center for Universal Education at the Brookings Institution exclaimed that “Access to technology and Internet is an urgent requirement in the information age. It should no longer be a luxury.”