“Online Education and Digital Divide”

 

Recently our Union minister Prakash Javadekar said in the Lok Sabha, “No child was deprived of online education during the pandemic as the government had taken several steps in that direction.” Such a statement is nothing but a mere lie when we encounter reality.

A majority of Indian school students do not have the means or privilege for online education. Some face network and technical glitches. Some face electricity problem. The non-availability of gadgets is another problem. Accessible and compulsory education has always been a challenge in India. Right to education is something that is written merely on paper not exist in the real world. The pandemic broadened the pre-existing gap making online education a commodity of sheer privilege. During the lockdown, thousands of students have suffered due to the digital divide. Taking the example of the Indian state with the highest literacy rate, Kerala witnessed numerous cases where students took away their lives due to a lack of accessibility to digital tools. sometimes Internet accessibility act as a hindrance.

 the obvious failure of the system and concerned authorities witnessed from the devastating act of suicide by the students. Not just that; for powering devices, access to electricity is crucial for digital education. Some states such as Bihar and Uttar Pradesh have a severe problem with electricity.

In the rural area, the houses received electricity for less than 12 hours a day. most of India’s population lives in villages where only 15% of rural households have access to internet services. Whereas in urban areas, it’s 42%. Moreover, India witnessed a spike in unemployment during the lockdown affecting the livelihood of millions.

Especially compulsion of electronic gadgets for online education became a severe problem as in rural areas subsistence is very difficult. Not every rural person could afford expensive gadgets. In most households with a meager income, eating three meals a day was not guaranteed, purchasing costly internet plans or devices cost them a fortune. From mortgaging assets to cutting off on essential household expenses, families have done it all to make online education a possibility when the government schemes failed to reach the neediest. 

Although several NGOs, social groups, and individuals rose to link this digital gap by sponsoring smartphones and laptops, the negligence by the authorities can’t be overlooked. An ordinary Indian citizen expects its government is to at least acknowledge the problem. After all, how will one solve the problem if one does not acknowledge it!

Email Etiquettes For Students

Simple rules to send a respectful email that won’t get you on your professor’s bad side. 

Rule 1 – Answer swiftly

 Anyone who sends you an email they’ll want quick responses. The golden rule for email is to reply within 24 hours, and preferably within the same day itself. If your response email is complicated, just send an email confirming receipt and letting them know that you will get back to them. This will ease the senders mind! 

Rule 2 – Use a meaningful subject line

 When filling the subject line, make sure that you mention what the email is for or in regards to. You don’t want it to seem like a randomly generated subject and end up in your professor’s spam folder. It also makes it easier to search for old emails when the subject line is relevant and specific to the content of the email. 

Rule 3 – Read your email before you send it 

Prior to sending your email, be sure that you proofread your message. You shouldn’t write your email as though you are texting your friend. Make sure it’s got full sentences, proper grammar, and real spelling. Look out for potential misunderstandings, the tone, and inappropriate comments. 

Rule 4 – Abbreviations & emoticons 

Be careful using email abbreviations such as BTW (by the way) and LOL (laugh out loud) in formal emails. Even today, some people still don’t know what they mean, so it’s better to drop them. 

Rule 5 – Be concise

 Be succinct and keep your message short and to the point. Your professor is going to have probably hundreds of email messages to wade through each day. Just get to the point and politely, respectfully, ask your request.  If it has to be long, consider including a synopsis at the top of the email. Make sure you are as clear as possible about what it is you need to ask of your professor without writing a novel. 

Rule 6 – Do not write in CAPITALS 

IF YOU WRITE IN CAPITALS IT SEEMS AS IF YOU ARE SHOUTING!! Therefore, try not to send email text in capitals. 

Rule 7 – Use a professional email address

 This marks the message as legitimate and not spam. You should always have an email address that conveys your name so that the professor an idea of who’s sending the message. Never use email addresses, perhaps remnants of your grade-school days, that are not appropriate for use in a formal setting, such as “supergirlrocks@…” or “pizzalover@…”.

Rule 8 – Use professional salutations 

Don’t use laid-back, colloquial expressions like, ‘Hi’ or ‘Yo’. Address your professor directly; don’t just launch straight into a request. Examples: ‘Respected Dr. Kapoor’, ‘Dear, Ms. Gupta’, ‘Dr. Sharma, I hope this email finds you well…’. 

Rule 9 – Be polite

Don’t make demands, don’t accuse, remember to write please and thank you. Close your email with something polite like ‘Thanks’, ‘Thanks for your time’, ‘See you in class Wednesday’, ‘regards’, etc. Then re-type your first name 

Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before Graduating School

It’s again the time to apply for colleges while you’re just out of school. This stage in life always involves uncertainty and stress, and in addition COVID-19 has made it even more challenging for students. Here are some things I wish I knew before I got out of school-

It’s okay to not have everything figured out just yet

I’m sure you have heard all types of questions about your future- ranging from which college would you like to get into to what do you want to major in, from what type of career do you want after college to what’s your plan-B. If you know the answer to such questions then, congratulations you’re the lucky one. But It’s okay if you don’t know the answers to these right now. Most people don’t have their entire life figured out at age of 17/18. You’ll get there eventually. Try exploring one question at a time instead of stressing about all of these at once. Small steps, remember?

Don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone

This is probably one of the biggest things I had to learn after getting out of school. It’s so important that you learn to step out of your comfort zone while you’re in school. School offers you a very sheltered environment, but college doesn’t. You’ll have to make ways to achieve things you want and even go and extra mile for them. Inculcating this habit will benefit you in the long run. You surely don’t want to miss out on opportunities in college simply because you were afraid to take a risk.

You and your friends might grow apart

I was fortunate enough to experience my school friendships grow even stronger after leaving school. But this wan’t the case with most of the friend groups in my school batch. It is something that happens when you all jet off to different cities, when you meet new people who you connect with better or when you see that people who you were close to in school aren’t making as much effort to communicate as you are, which happens a lot. It’s highly unlikely for your entire friend group to end up in the same university or college after graduation or for them to make the same efforts they were making when you all were meeting each day. Either way, don’t be discouraged if you realise you’re not as close as you were in school.

ask for help

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Whether it’s your pride or your fear holding you back, try and get over it. You don’t have to force yourself to struggle when you can ask the ones you trust for help. Whether it’s related to academics or your personal struggle adjusting to a new environment, reach out for help. Looking back you will wish you had asked for help when you had the chance to. This will make your life a lot more easier.

PRIORITIzE your health, physical and mental

Learn to prioritize your health and pay attention to what your body needs from you. Pulling all nighters day after day after day will destroy you and your focus. And No, you can’t survive the whole day at college on a diet of lays and coke forever. Don’t skip your meals. Your health is very important.

You don’t have to be the same person you were in high school

College is the perfect time to reinvent yourself. It’s the perfect time to unlearn concepts and opinions that you no longer agree with. It’s the perfect time to to better yourself educating yourself with issues that are revenant around you. University offers you an environment suitable to reinvent yourself, it offers you the space to give educated opinions and to find like minded people who you willingly want to interact with online school where you had to interact with your classmates only. If you were the brainiac that always had a secret passion for art, then join your college’s art club. If in school you were into sports but always appreciated and enjoyed debating, then join the debate club while participate in the sports activities of your choice. You don’t have to stay the same and that’s the beauty of it.

13 THINGS I WISH I’D KNOWN AT THE AGE OF 13

  1. You don’t need to be peer pressured to do anything you aren’t comfortable with.
  2. Being trendy doesn’t count for much and instead, it is  feeling confident in whatever you wore that mattered.
  3. How important it is to stand up for people you love.
  4. To do what scares you. If you think you wrote a great story, stand up and read it in class! You’ll never know unless you try it.
  5. Don’t ghost. Remember that friend you’ve drifted apart from? Don’t blow her off, instead ask her what’s going on with you two from her perspective. Confrontation is what will get you through Senior School.
  6. Saving Journals. Just look back on how you saw the world at 12, and I bet you’ll have a day full of laughter.
  7. Significant others will always come in time. Right now it might seem like everyone you know is having the time of their lives with their best friend and that your life would improve if a best friend was by your side. But take it from me- Concentrate on good friendships first, if a closer relationship comes out of it, great and even if it doesn’t, then connections that will last won’t make you regret anything.
  8. You’re going to change so much, you might as well accept it now. You might be thinking that who you are now is who you will always be. But the world is ever changing and you’re going to grow for better. So, go with it!
  9. You don’t have to always fit in. Let individuality take the wheel.
  10. Don’t tolerate white lies and don’t tell white lies. The more you get caught up in lies and made-up stories, the more difficult it will be to survive in school. 
  11. Go (slightly) nuts! This is your opportunity in life to be slightly stupid, to be the life of the party. Because it turns out being slightly nuts in board classes isn’t as socially acceptable.
  12. For the love of everything, please stop making a puff. You’ll realise this when you look back at your pictures and cry for 5 days straight. Also hair straight down or pulled back is a hundred times better.
  13. You create the definition of happiness. Not your fake friends. Not your classmates and not even the society.