With schools shut due to the pandemic of coronavirus, learning has just become a dream for the students of rural India.
By Yumna Ahmed
Online classes are being held all over the world through different digital platforms due to the coronavirus lockdown while the students of rural India go without studies since digital education to them is still a far fetched dream.
Sridevi, a class five student whose only happiness was going to school to learn something new and meet her friends, has been snatched away from her because of schools being shut amid the COVID-19 lockdown across the country. Students in Maski go without any kind of formal education as the government fails to provide digital education platforms for rural India.
Tayeba, Hindi teacher from Dignayakanbhavi village said, “Our students are unable to continue their studies in the time of coronavirus as schools are shut and they don’t have any means to avail digital education. Most of the parents are not educated enough to teach them, so the students are lagging behind in their studies. If digital education would have been available, we could have easily taught them.”
Asma, the mother of two children from Dignayakanbhavi showed concern as children are unable to go to schools and she is not educated enough to teach them.
She said, “During this lockdown, all schools are shut and we are unable to send our children to schools. I am a housewife and not educated enough to teach my kids, my daughter is always irritated as she is unable to learn something new.”
Tayeba added that the government, so far, has failed to provide any help for the education of rural children in this crucial time. “We don’t even have any awareness program to educate people about the COVID-19 outbreak. Even after talking to the gram panchayat, they did not pay any attention to this matter”.
Right to Education highlights the fact that education is essential, and free education is the right of every student. However, the COVID-19 outbreak has put the education in rural areas at stake.
Ali Saint, CEO of Tech Avant-Garde said, “We focus on women empowerment, and to date, we have trained 1000 teachers on how to work with digital education. In this time of COVID-19, we have been successfully able to impart knowledge to children as our teachers are digitally trained.”
We forget the fact that training teachers is not only a solution in rural areas since they don’t have access to a platform to impart their knowledge.
Pampara Gowda.G, principal of Devanampriya Ashoka college in Maski said, “All exams of graduate and post-,graduate students have been cancelled and we are marking based on their first semester. If the government would have provided us with digital facilities, we could have held online exams.”
Wooday P. Krishna, Engineer and President at Karnataka private post-graduate college said, “Schools in rural India are entirely managed by the government so they should focus on it specifically . Coronavirus has changed everything . If digital education would have been available, it would have been a different picture altogether.”