Sample Education During Covid19 in India, Online Learning Environments (Download PDF)

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Sample Education During Covid19 in India

Online Learning Environments

  • Homeschooling has often been thought of as an alternative to traditional school by progressive and educated parents. It would greatly reduce their reliance on gadgets and increase their bonding with parents and other family members. However, this may not work for parents and kids of low-income families. Studies suggest that long holidays contribute to loss of academic achievement among children of low-income families.

  • Thus, there would be differences in the amount of teaching time, in the resources available to parents as many may not be able to access the most suitable online materials and finally the amount of knowledge as it is difficult to explain to the child something which one she doesn’t understand. Hence, the children of less affluent, especially ‘digitally poor’ families would be left behind. As classes transition online, these children would lose out due to the cost of devices and data plans. For many parents, multiple devices for themselves and their children are only a dream.

  • There would be a large number of children whose parents would fail to afford those classes. Therefore, excessive dependence on technology at the school level and curtailment of classroom sessions, especially in urban areas, would make school education exclusive and would deter the children from low-income families from accessing even primary education. The low internet penetration and the gender gap among the users would further complicate the school scenario. Children from low-income households live in conditions that make homeschooling difficult.

  • Online learning environments usually require computers and a reliable internet connection. Children from low-income households live in conditions that make homeschooling difficult. Online learning environments usually require computers and a reliable internet connection. In India, a substantial number of children live in homes in which they have no internet access and have no suitable place to do homework, do not have access to books at the appropriate reading level. Increasing unemployment and food insecurity, can potentially make children victims of malnutrition, domestic violence, child abuse and even child marriages.

  • The policymakers face serious challenges in terms of nutrition and learning needs of school children. In order to overcome widespread food insecurity among the school goers the government should ensure continuity of school-provided meals. States such as Kerala, West Bengal, Delhi and Andhra Pradesh have done a commendable job by roping in the Anganwadi workers to ensure that the mid-day meals are provided to the doorstep of children even when the schools are shut. Remote learning is not only about online learning, but about mixed media learning, and its objective is to reach a maximum number of students, TV, radio and SMSes should also be used.

  • The schools may conduct summer/winter schools for socio-economically poor students who are forced to totally lose out on learning time owing to the Coronavirus-induced disruption after coronavirus. The government should also consider providing regular economic support to families with school-going children. The policies have to be framed in a manner which would put premium on creativity, academic freedom, inclusiveness and not profit or political influence.

- Published/Last Modified on: August 16, 2020

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