Focus: GS-II Social Justice
Why in news?
- School education in the time of COVID is heavily dependent on mobile phones, with 80-90% of older students in Central government schools saying they use mobiles rather than laptops to access digital schooling during the pandemic, according to an official sample survey conducted by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT).
- Almost 30% said absent or intermittent electricity connections hindered their learning, and half the students said they did not even have access to their textbooks.
- The situation is likely to be far grimmer at state-funded schools and the poorer private schools where the majority of students study.
- Only four States have completed mapping of the devices available to students — smartphone, basic mobile, radio, TV, personal or community computer — according to the Students’ Learning Enhancement Guidelines released by the Education Ministry.
- According to the NCERT survey, most of 40% of students in CBSE schools said they found online learning difficult or burdensome.
- 27% did not have either laptops or smartphones.
- Half the surveyed students did not have textbook access, and 28% faced electricity problems.
- Paucity of devices among teachers and their unfamiliarity with the devices and online teaching methods also created roadblocks.
- The reported suggested that states undertake a school-wise and student-wise survey to map the digital device accessibility.
-Source: The Hindu, Hindustan Times