Covid19 expanded the digital divide. And shows the disparities within the society between the rural and urban, rich and poor. Lockdown compelled the shift to the virtual model. some of the students managed to receive an education without any obstacles. but many unprivileged students have been deprived of it. resulted in drop out of college and institutes due to the financial crisis of lockdown. Before the pandemic differences prevail in access to education but corona widened the gap. Rural areas have severe internet connectivity problems but Half of India’s population is living in rural parts of the country.
India is the second-largest populated country in the world. But it is a developing country. to maintain education for all during the lockdown when the schools are shut is quite challenging. the digital divide between the government and private institutes can be witnessed. Virtual learning wasn’t much challenging for private school students. Unlike the students of the government schools, who didn’t have access to the digital equipment. the Unprivileged children can’t afford access to quality internet and gadgets. Thus being deprived of education. The right to education is meaningless in the covid scenario. The government needs to bridge the digital divide to ensure students’ education. Some students are ahead of others. As many students drop out of school due to financial problems.
Access to the internet on their mobile phones is a matter of concern as well. The need of the time is to provide digital infrastructure and tools access to unprivileged ones to access online classes. The digital divide has led to incidences of student suicides. many students committed suicide after drop out. Even in urban areas, disparities prevail. those living in slumps and downtrodden areas can’t afford education.
The government needs to focus on technology and extending the vision of digital India.
Those who have access to education face many hurdles such as in assembling notes, in paying attention due to bad network coverage. Getting time to do self-study is also difficult. preparation of online tests is another problem. seeking notes from some of the online sources is also difficult because some websites charge for the subscription which is not possible for everyone. students have to sit in front of the computer screen for many hours and Practical knowledge is not possible during the pandemic because it is hard for the students to perform practical virtually. even for teachers, it is difficult to prepare presentations for the students.
pandemic hit increases our dependence on technology. The focus had always been on practical knowledge and skills. we are being actively tested for our knowledge without any proper structure of assessment. Most importantly, not all teachers are not good at technical stuff to manage classes or material distribution.
. COVID-19 also raised prominent questions about the need, significance, and value of virtual learning platforms. The majority of the students have been affected negatively and therefore the government should come up with such education policies that would benefit all the students. Common people also need to volunteer to lead a hand to needy people.