The Educational Divide

The state governments are still in dilemma whether schools need to be reopened or not, and rightly so, as the number of daily infections are not coming down below 40K. A few states have opened and a few others are in the process.

This pandemic has disrupted our normal life, but it has deprived our children of their basic rights of a normal childhood and education. They can’t play and mingle with their friends. One can easily understand their emotional level.

Though in the name of education, online classes are going on everywhere. This is the need of the hour in the given situation. But in reality what is happening? Everybody knows.

Around three fourth students in rural and remote areas have no access to device or connectivity. My heart goes out to them. More than 300 million children are getting impacted across India. Learning for them has become an uphill task. This has created a digital divide between ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots.’

I had myself taken a few online sessions for class four students of a government school, and I know what are the practical difficulties encountered in having normal interactive sessions even with those who were fortunate to have both mobile and internet.

Though the year has not been lost due to general promotion given to students, but it has further widened the divide. The affluent students have also access to online coaching classes like Byju, GuruQ, Unacademy, Vedantu and so on. Exclusive private online classes are also available to them. They are better equipped to crack competitive examinations.

I think when malls, theatres and restaurants can be opened, why not schools? I see children in my building playing in the evening with no inhibition. Their parents are also going out daily for the livelihood.

Education is the passport to the future. Let’s not deprive them of their future.  Morning-evening, odd-even days with 50% capacity may be thought of, of course by observing covid appropriate behaviour.

–Kaushal Kishore

39 Comments

  1. Nice article 🌹👌 🙏 here education ministry want to open schools inSeptember !!
    Children , youngsters and old people so many in hospitals !!
    What’s future and with what ground they are opening school, don’t know how?
    Parents scaring to send children in schools 🌹😢 बधाइयाँ 🌹🙏🌹

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Situations are really bad. It bounces back. We have to protect ourselves with vaccine and covid appropriate behaviour. Sending children to schools is the choice parents have to make after considering all pros and cons. Thank you for sharing your thoughts 🙏💐

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is surely a global problem! Those students who don’t have access to computers in particular to laptops will be disadvantaged! And when there is only one device in a family the difficulties are simply made greater. The pandemic has created many problems and probably there are many more still to emerge. Great post, KK! 🙏🙏

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You are right, Ashley, this is a global problem. While interacting with little students, I used to get sentimental, as only 30 to 35% students could attend online classes, and those attended told me that their several friends were helping parents in their business. So even otherwise they were getting exposed, sans education. This is a complex issue, but thank you for sharing your valuable inputs.🙏🙏

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree with you, Joanna. Education should be the first priority, but our leaders have failed us. Thank you so much for sharing your concerns!!

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  3. So true “Education is the passport to the future.” Online classes will definitely widen the divide and it’s effects ripple in the near future. It’s a sad state, in my country schools have been opened and there’s a pattern on closing the boundaries, only done when schools are on break and helps reduce the numbers on infected but the curfew has been a constant since last year. Students are given a priority and added for more resources.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m really happy to hear that students are given priority. It’s a welcome step, Kevin. Online classes don’t suffice the need of a regular classes. Thank you very much for sharing this beautiful feedback. Much appreciated 🙏

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Ask me will I send my kids to school .My answer would be no!
    😢I don’t have the courage ,specially after the monstrous second wave in India . I lost my family members, my friends, my neighbors .A mother leaving behind her year old twins, a bride entering her new house after marriage left all alone in the house after the deadly disease took away her husband , parents -in-law, many many more. Not not corona but these irreparable losses haunt , taking chances with little kids in India where the strength of a class is around 45-55
    I get jitters.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s your decision, Reena. I would also probably have taken the same decision. I can empathise with you. I also lost my near and dear ones. I know the pain a family has to undergo after such a tragedy. The situation had been really horrible. Every day I was getting news of death of 3 to 4 people I knew personally.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I agree that if theatres, malls , and restaurants are open, parents should be given the option with the appropriate protocol. Of course it is up to the individual as to whether or not they decide to send them as long as the option is there. Great post as always, KK.❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s individual choice. One has to weigh pros and cons before taking a decision. My point is when children are getting exposed, then why not for learning. It’s also essential. Thank you, Grace for sharing your concerns and views 🙏💖

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I think, Siva jyothi, this situation will go on till herd immunity is achieved. Even thereafter, who knows if some other deadly variant may grab us. Let’s get vaccinated, maintain covid protocol and move forward.

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  6. That’s very well said. There can be protocols set up and rotations. And those who don’t feel safe going back to school can be given an option to “study from home”. I say option at this point because of the grim situations we’ve just seen.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are right, options should be there, but the responsibility of learning should shift to parents in those cases, where parents choose not to send. Thank you for leaving your thoughtful comment!!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. You’re absolutely right. Schools have to be opened soon, maybe considering shift basis to prevent crowds. Even after that, to bridge the inequalities and knowledge gap in the 2 last years, institutions should come up with pragmatic mechanisms instead of just promoting the students to an upper grade.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Anisha for your thoughtful comment. We can certainly devise ways to make learning possible. It’s very easy to deny or say no to anything. After all, how long this situation will continue, nobody knows. America has vaccinated majority of people, but again they are reporting around 1.5 lac new infections every day. The only way forward is to vaccinate, observe covid protocol and move forward.

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    1. I’m so happy to learn about it. You are very right that way. Thank you so much, Melissa for reading and sharing your reflections 🙏

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      1. Well , it’s something that’s worth our attention. Besides ,you made it such a good read and explained the divide really well. It presents the situation vividly that we can’t pretend not to see the need for some better action for the kids.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. We have the same problem with rural and disadvantaged students not having the wherewithal to continue studying. Our government opened school and then closed and opened and closed… It is so disruptive to say the least. We also had a rotation going where only half the class came in every other day and were expected to work from home in between. I think that works quite well. It is an interesting dilemma. 👍👍🙋‍♀️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, that is one way out. A mix of online and offline may also work well. The abnormal is now a new normal, so accordingly we will have to devise ways to tackle the problem. Thanks a lot for sharing your beautiful reflections 🙏💐

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  9. School should be opened but we really don’t know what will be the effects of this pandamic on the students when they don’t get vaccine I think that’s why the government is in hesitation. Well written 👌

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I endorse your views, Priti. Covid and its truant behavior have made everything unpredictable. But we have to take a plunge sometime somewhere. Learning of poor students has gone for a toss for more than one and half years.

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      1. Yes I know everything as I am a school teacher. Everyday we are doing online classes. Education system is going to be very poor. Buy it also true we don’t have any idea how covid will harm the children? So everything is complicated 😉

        Liked by 1 person

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