It has shown significant results in learning outcomes, as 42% of this class from third grade to fifth grade in rural India and 35% of children in urban areas were unable to read more than a few letters in the reading test. More than 5% of parents also felt that reading and writing ability among first to fifth grade children decreased during this period. These are revealed in the “School Children’s Online and Offline Learning (School) Survey” report as 90% of urban parents and %% of rural parents are clamoring for school to reopen.
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The survey and report, conducted by welfare economist, sociologist and activist Jian Dredge and Ritika Khera, an associate professor of economics at IIT Delhi, was published on Monday, sampling 1,400 school children from disadvantaged families, 60% of whom were rural. Area and belongs to Dalit or Adivasi community.
Combined with many government data, the report highlights the digital divide – with 55% of SC / ST students, 38% of others living in a family without a smartphone. And the lack of digital devices, a direct correlation with poor Internet access to access to education during the Covid-1 situation, revealed that only 8% of rural students and 24% of urban students regularly study online, 37% of rural children and 19% of urban students. The children are not studying at all during this period.
Describing the situation, the report said, “During this time, a small minority of disadvantaged children were able to study online in the comfort and safety of their home. The rest, however, were locked out of school without further ado. Some have struggled to continue studying online or offline. Many spent months milling around villages or slums without leaving work. ”
The survey was conducted in August 2021 in 15 states and union territories, including Assam, Bihar, Chandigarh, Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. Relatively deprived villages and slums, where children usually attend government schools.
The report in the ‘Fiction of Online Education’ section highlights that lack of smartphones is not the only obstacle to online learning, “Also, other problems of online access such as poor connectivity and ‘lack of money for data,'” another major obstacle, especially in rural areas. Not sending, or if it is, parents are not aware of it.Some children, especially toddlers, in any case lack understanding of online reading, or find it difficult to concentrate.
According to the report, 51% of rural children who live in a family with a smartphone, 36% do not have their own phone, 6% cannot carry internet data, 10% study online is beyond their comprehension and 43% of them have not received any online materials from school.
Of those in the sample population who have access to online education, 57% from the city and 65% from the countryside often face connection problems, while only 27% in urban areas and 12% in rural areas are entering live classes.
Another major change is emigration from private schools, as the report claims that one-fifth of the children surveyed were enrolled in private schools when the lockdown began in March 2020. And 26% of them moved to public schools, probably “during the lockout, many private schools leaned towards online education and tried to continue by charging the same fees. Poor parents often become reluctant to pay fees and other costs (including smartphones and recharges) due to frustrated earnings or online education not working well for their children, “although many are still struggling to relocate due to the emphasis on private schools.” All fees are being paid before issuing “Transfer Certificate”.
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