Virtual Learning Inequities in Education

The COVID-19 pandemic has upgraded the centuries-old practice of learning from students to institutions. Today, school and university classrooms are on laptops and Smartphone screens in many areas, and real books have been replaced by the Internet. We also knew that there were big threats to this educational revolution. Countries made strong strides before the pandemic to ensure that children can at least complete primary education, identified as the years between pre-school and secondary education, by 2030.

The bulk of those affected is in the southern half of the globe, which includes many countries with low and medium incomes. That means that students are much less likely to engage in the online revolution there. According to the International Telecommunications Union, internet penetration in this hemisphere is poor, and some 360 million young people do not have access. As a reduced alternative to cable, many countries are using terrestrial television and radio to transmit lessons.

It all suggest that students from the low – income households are more likely to be refused education without Internet access, expanding already broad educational gaps. Since education is closely linked to jobs, income, and health later on, setbacks will now last a lifetime.

It observed that many measures to make education open to children and promote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic are being introduced by the government. One of the initiatives is PM eVIDYA, which aims to enable students and teachers to have multi-mode and equal access to education.  The effect on various age groups of these unusual times may be different. It can be predicted that the effect on children from poor, impoverished, or vulnerable areas would be much more detrimental than on children from affluent backgrounds.

This COVID-19 pandemic has revealed significant technology access gaps, such as between rich and poor, rural and urban, girls and boys, across and within nations. In order to encourage children to continue learning from home, online platforms have always been the first to be rolled out; in fact, they are typically the most successful learning modality in having any sort of learning up and running. However, they have the lowest reach.’

The ‘digital divide’ between developed, emerging, and underdeveloped countries in terms of the use of the internet and access to stable internet. In this regard, in the midst of the pandemic, providing online education, given the low level of internet connectivity and stable internet penetration will pose a serious challenge for low-income countries like India.

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