Beaten or Broken ?
The education system in India is facing a new crisis thanks to COVID-19.
According to a World Bank report titled Beaten or Broken?, COVID-19 pandemic in India may cause a loss of over $400 billion in the country’s future earnings, besides substantial learning losses by keeping 391 million students out of school in primary and secondary education
Most schools are shut and children have been out of school for approximately 5 months. Being out of school for that long means that children not only stop learning new things, they also forget some of what they have learned. It’s a double whammy
E-learning has been the new normal for schools these days wherein teachers and schools are adopting new ways to interact with the students and provide the education. Well the biggest issue is the digital divide in the nation
According to a TRAI report, only 34% of total population of India had access to Internet.
Also E-learning, as the name suggests, relies on the availability and accessibility of technology, but little or no availability of electricity is a significant challenge to taking advantage of education online.
In a 2017-18 survey, the Ministry of Rural Development found that only 47% of Indian households receive more than 12 hours of electricity and more than 36% of schools in India operate without electricity.
This suggests that while students from families with better means of living can easily bridge the transition to remote learning, students from underprivileged backgrounds are likely to succumb to inefficiency and a lack of adaptation, either because of the inaccessibility of the technology or the low education of their parents to guide them through tech-savvy applications or due to lack of electricity.
Economic reform policies have always leaned towards hyper-digitalization. For a long time, we have discussed how to innovate working and studying with at-home technologies.
However, the implementation of these policies has not addressed the educational inequalities that have today emerged as a crisis in the caste and class struggle in India.
Can we bridge the gap of education inequality ?