Digital Classes Not A Solution For All
Online education has grown over the years and has recently gained mainstream acceptance globally, post the breakout of the Covid-19 pandemic. Digital education is flexible and cost-effective, however, access to electricity is crucial to the digital world. Given the number of hours, a majority of the households in India get electricity is rather dim, the future of online education in India being a success is debatable.
A report in Scroll. highlights the inequalities in basic facilities that do not make online education a solution for all. “While the government’s Saubhagya scheme to provide electricity to households shows that almost 99.9% of homes in India have a power connection, the picture is less luminous if we look at the quality of electricity and the number of hours for which it is available every day,” the reports says.
The report, quoting a 2017-’18 National Sample Survey on Education, makes the point that only 24% of Indian households have an internet facility. “While 66% of India’s population lives in villages, only a little over 15% of rural households have access to internet services. For urban households, the proportion is 42%,” the report says.
Other Impact of Digital Classes
Besides the economic and social inequalities, experts are also raising concerns about the dangers of internet exposure among young children, and predatory adults building online relationships with young children. The future of online education, therefore, needs to be studied in a more comprehensive way with a focus on inclusivity and parental guidance to counter online sexual exploitation.