GOVERNANCE/ ECONOMY/ SOCIETY
Topic: General Studies 2:
- Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors
- Indian Economy and challenges with regard to resource mobilization
Context: UGC held a meeting to consider a tentative academic calendar for the current year, and the need to promote online learning
How had India progressed with regard to access to education?
In the last two decades, there has been a conscious effort on the part of the state to improve access to education at all levels with measures like
- Right to Education Act
- OBC reservation in Higher Educational institutions
- Recent EWS reservation
- Online Education an integral part of Digital India programme
Constraints with Online Learning in India
- Digital divide in India with poor not having sufficient access to internet
- 55,000 villages in the country are without mobile network coverage as per Niti Aayog, in its “Strategy for New India@75” report
- Proper Infrastructure: Personal computers and phones unequal to professional work
- Lack of Experience: Both teachers and students fall back on the communications grammar of the live classroom which produces confusion online.
- Lack of Capabilities: Both teachers and students need training in how to operate in the electronic classroom, and how to deal with digital workflows.
- Increased burden: Parents have to bear the burden of keeping electronic classrooms in order
Sociological issues with Online Education
- A large number of students are not comfortable with spoken or written English. This makes online pedagogical material that much inaccessible
- The students come with different levels of prior training, which makes it difficult to have a one-size-fits-all approach with online teaching.
- The bottom pyramid of society who are poorer might not find financial resources to access it and thus endangering their education prospects
- Increased funding to public education
- State-backed television and radio, along with community radio in underserved places, can help to bridge this divide temporarily.
- Digitisation of public schools
- Leveraging the help of civil society to enhance the access of education, especially in remote places
Connecting the dots:
- Operation Digital Board of GoI
- Impact of COVID-19 on telecom sector