Online education hits weaker sections

As we all are aware that Corona pandemic has affected all the sectors very badly and almost 100 days have passed since schools, colleges and universities were closed.
No doubt the GoI has timely come forward for the provisions like Online classes through internet by using various Applications platforms through gadgets like laptops, smartphones, iPad, computers as far as online education is concerned, but it clearly cuts the economically weaker section from availing this online education facility and those living in remote areas where the Internet is still a dream.
What I mean to say, let’s suppose if a student belongs to Economically weaker section and his parents can’t afford to have an internet connection, smartphone, computer or laptop for the online classes, in that case, he’s not able to avail the online studies facility which leads to having a sense of inferiority complex. It clearly indicates the act of discrimination among the economically weaker section students.
For the time being these online classes are optional, but one thing is very clear that students attending these sessions will have an edge if exams are conducted based on this content soon after institutes reopen. “For no mistake on their part, they (students with no internet facility or gadgets) are made to face the challenge of learning and appearing for exams on par with the rich sections of the society. On the one side, GoI is trying hard to give best to best online education to all the students during lockdown but at the same time it directly affects the Economically weaker section and the students belonging to remote areas from availing this facility, moreover, it clearly draws a line of a digital divide between the weaker section and the affluent section.
In some cases, it has become difficult for the middle-class families also to avail the online classes facility, as those having two or three kids at home needs two or three gadgets for the same as the timings of the online school classes in some cases are same in that case it has become difficult for the parents to buy these expensive gadgets like Smartphones, laptops & Computers. Already everyone is passing through a very tough time as far as COVID 19 pandemic is concerned and security of one’s job is also very uncertain.
We are not against the online education system but simply demand that GoI need to rethink how to reach children in equitable ways. The whole nature of education is surely going to change due to COVID-19 and GoI need to find new strategies, new roadmaps and new ways to maintain the balance between the wealthy section and weaker section of the society as far as Online Education is concerned, otherwise, it will become difficult for the Economically Weaker Section students to compete with the affluent section.
Gaurav Gupta
Member JCCI