3 out of 4 children faced combination of challenges to access online education due to Covid-19: Survey



3 out of 4 children faced combination of challenges to access online education due to Covid-19: Survey


3 out of 4 children faced combination of challenges to access online education due to Covid-19: Survey

The Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted the education sector globally. Classes have been suspended to enforce social distancing, and educational institutions, from schools to universities, have shifted to online methods of teaching and evaluation. Still, there is no certainty about when normalcy will be restored. This has encouraged some sort of permanent tilt, if not a complete shift, to online education.

Online teaching is something many institutions are contemplating, but do most Indians have the bandwidth for online learning? Preliminary data analysis and an online survey conducted by Learning Spiral showed that children faced a combination of issues in accessing education digitally.

Challenges in accessing online education

Here are the online education accessibility factors and challenges as highlighted by the survey:

  • The dominant mode of delivering education is WhatsApp which is used by 75% followed by phone calls between the teacher and the student which is 38%.
  • The private schools depend on WhatsApp as the primary mode of education delivery.
  • In addition to the pedagogical issues with the use of WhatsApp, access continues to be an issue over 75% children reported a host of challenges to access education digitally including not having an internet connection, being unable to afford data, Internet speed/signal is not conducive.
  • While these challenges were common across states, in Jharkhand specifically, over 40% students reported that they did not have the right device to access digital education. The students have reported internet speed and signal as the main hindrances in accessing online learning.
  • Despite challenges in accessing education digitally, not a single instance of education through non-digital mediums was reported.
  • Due to the continued reliance on digital modes and the interrupted access to education, it is estimated that children from disadvantaged backgrounds will lose almost 40% of their previous year’s learning.
  • 3 out of every 4 students faced challenges to access education.
  • Most challenges faced involve lack of IT support, continuous technological changes, unequal access for all students, unoptimized software for mobile devices and security issues.

Read: Covid-19 exposes class divide in education: How can students learn without digital access?

Read: With no electricity, television or smartphones, tribal students struggle for education

Read: Online schooling: Poor children with no smartphone or internet left high and dry by authorities

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