Inadequate number of smartphones, difficulty in using apps important reasons

  • A field study by the Azim Premji University on the efficacy and accessibility of e-learning has found that more than 60% of the respondents who are enrolled in government schools could not access online education. 
  • The study, titled “Myths of Online Education”, was undertaken in five States across 26 districts and covered 1,522 schools. More than 80,000 students study in these government schools.
  • The study examined the experience of children and teachers with online education. The researchers noted that non-availability or inadequate number of smartphones for dedicated use or sharing, as well as difficulty in using apps for online learning, were the most important reasons why students were not able to access classes.
  • Children with disabilities in fact found it more difficult to participate in online sessions.
  • The researchers pointed out that 90% of the teachers who work with children with disabilities found their students unable to participate online.
  • The study also found out that almost 90% of parents of government school students surveyed were willing to send their children back to school. However, they said it would be a feasible option if the health of their children was taken care of when schools reopen.
  • Almost 70% of the parents surveyed were of the opinion that online classes were not effective and did not help in their child’s learnings.

‘No emotional connect’

  • Teachers, too, expressed frustration with online classes. More than 80% surveyed said they were unable to maintain emotional connect with students during online classes, while 90% of teachers felt that no meaningful assessment of children’s learning was possible.
  • Another significant finding was that nearly 50% of the teachers reported that children were unable to complete assignments shared during the online classes, which had led to serious gaps in learning.

Issues with online education:

  • A large number of students are not comfortable with spoken or written English. This makes online pedagogical material that much inaccessible
  • The students come with different levels of prior training, which makes it difficult to have a one-size-fits-all approach with online teaching.
  • The bottom pyramid of society who are poorer might not find financial resources to access it and thus endangering their education prospects.
  • Digital divide in India with poor not having sufficient access to internet
  • 55,000 villages in the country are without mobile network coverage as per Niti Aayog, in its “Strategy for New India@75” report
  • Proper Infrastructure: Personal computers and phones unequal to professional work.
  • Lack of Experience: Both teachers and students fall back on the communications grammar of the live classroom which produces confusion online. 
  • Lack of Capabilities: Both teachers and students need training in how to operate in the electronic classroom, and how to deal with digital workflows.
  • Increased burden: Parents have to bear the burden of keeping electronic classrooms in order