All schools around the world have also been closed due to lockdown. Examinations are held in schools in India in March and new classes start again in April. But due to the closure of the school, the children have not been able to study this time. Private schools in particular have taken up the issue of educating children through a digital medium. In which online classes are being taught to children by creating a WhatsApp group. But the reading material that has been created or is being sent in these mediums is not made keeping in mind the children.
Lack of proper textbooks
Most of the schools are sharing old uploaded videos with the children. Children are having trouble understanding this because the content is not consistent with the syllabus. By the way, many schools in the country are conducting online studies. But there are also many schools which are not well equipped, so they are unable to get online education. Anyway, for online studies, children also need to have mobiles and laptops. When only 24 percent of households in India have access to the internet, questions arise on the significance of online education.
In such a situation, it is natural for the parents of students deprived of online education to be worried. The school management wants the child not to be deprived of education during the lockdown. He should read his syllabus according to the new class. There are many practical difficulties in online studies, but in lockdown when opening a school is not free from danger, then the online class is the biggest recourse. Children have to sit at the screen for hours at home while studying online. Children are facing many challenges while studying online.
Problems with equipment and the Internet
The medium of instruction in most of the private schools is English which is very difficult for these children to understand on their own. The second major challenge is the lack of resources required for these children’s online classes. Online classes require Android phones/computers/tablets, broadband connection, printer, etc. Most rural children do not have the necessary equipment for digital classes due to the poor financial status of their families. Due to which they are not able to do classes while at present other classmates of these children are studying through online classes. Only a handful of families will have these devices.
An NGO called Local Circle has conducted a survey in which 23 thousand people from 203 districts took part. Out of which 43% said that they do not have things like computer, tablet, printer, router for online classes of children. Global studies show that only 24% of Indians have a smartphone. According to the National Sample Survey Report 17-18, 11% of households have a desktop computer / laptop / notebook / netbook / laptops or tablet. According to this survey, only 24% of Indian households have internet access, of which 42% in urban households and only 15% in rural households have access to internet services.
The utility of the internet also varies from state to state as states like Delhi, Kerala, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, and Uttarakhand have internet access in more than 40% of households the same proportion in states like Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh Less than 20%. Schools are creating WhatsApp groups for digital learning and adding the numbers given to the children in the school records but these children do not have a phone, the numbers in the records are They belong to an elder of the family. Because these children do not have their phones but sometimes it happens that there is a phone for the whole house and which is mostly used by the head of the family, or there is no WhatsApp on the phone then how will the children be able to read.
Problems of children in rural areas
There is also a problem with the network. Due to the lockdown, the internet is being used a lot now, due to which the speed has been reduced. The families of these children also have a small amount of net plan, which repeatedly interrupts the net, in downloading reading material. Taking more time, the quality is also poor which makes it difficult for children to read and understand. Q.S. According to the survey, if you look at the network problem, the biggest problem in broadband/mobile is poor connectivity. The unavailability of electricity in rural areas is also a hindrance. According to a survey of villages conducted by the Ministry of Rural Development in 2017-18, only 47% of households in India get more than 12 hours of electricity while 33% get 9-12 hours of electricity and 16% of households get one to eight hours of electricity daily.
Yes, one thing is for sure that private educational institutions are charging fees by putting pressure on parents. Private schools have issued notices to parents to buy new books and then deposit fees. Fees are also being opposed by parents on social media and WhatsApp. The Ministry of Human and Resource Development should take this issue seriously. Indeed, the management of the institute is also having to bear other expenses including salary but the lack of teaching work in the school or college would have reduced the expenses considerably. The government should coordinate and make arrangements to safeguard the economic interests of both parties.
Mental and health problems
Apart from all these, online studies have started causing eye problems in children. The power to remember is also diminishing. Because the child saves everything on the computer. There is no reading from the book, in which the child should also remember. In the absence of teacher assessment, children are not able to work in the online curriculum with the same interest as they do in school. The way mobile has stopped us from remembering numbers. In the same way, online studies are losing children’s memory.
What to do now?
Psychoanalysts believe that online studies are good for secondary school children, but many playschools and elementary schools have also started online courses for young children. In such cases, parents need to be especially vigilant. Older children also need to be monitored. More than two months have passed since the lockdown. Sticking to mobiles and laptops at home most of the time can affect the creative ability of children. This will have a direct effect on the mental development of children.
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