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.