Digital divide has forced to drop school during pandemic

The Covid-19 epidemic has further expanded and worsened the digital gap in India’s education sector between the haves and have-nots, as well as between the government and private school institutions, according to new statistics provided by the ministry of education. The 2019-20 report from the Unified District Information System for Education, which was issued on Thursday, is unsettling to read. The report shows that 78 percent – or nearly 4 out of 5 of the more than 15 lakh schools in the country covered by the report – did not have access to the Internet in a year when the entire school system, ranging from playschool to Class 12, was forced to go online due to the pandemic-forced closure of schools across the country.
With the exception of isolated attempts made by dedicated instructors here and there, this implies that students in these institutions simply lost out on finishing their education. The situation is even worse at government schools, with only 12%, or around one out of every ten, having access to the Internet. In actuality, only approximately 30% of government schools, or less than one-third, possessed working computers.
Online learning is clearly a bridge too far for the professors and students of these schools. While this indicates a significant digital divide, the situation differs dramatically from state to state. When it comes to computers and the internet, the wealthier and more developed states, as well as all of the southern states, outperform the national average. However, historically less developed states like Assam had just 13% of schools equipped with computers. Madhya Pradesh (13%) lags behind Bihar (14%), West Bengal (14%), Tripura (15%), and Uttar Pradesh (18%). In government schools, the situation is even worse, with 95 percent of government schools in UP without functional computers.
The gap in connectivity is widening. The majority of schools in just three states — Delhi, Gujarat, and Kerala — have Internet access. Even when schools possessed the resources, lack of access remained a concern since the students did not have access to digital devices to take online lessons. Only Kerala and Rajasthan stated that their youngsters had access to a digital device such as a smartphone, an internet-enabled tablet, or a computer. Over one crore children in Bihar and more than 30 lakh youngsters in Karnataka and Jharkhand lacked access to a proper digital gadget.
While India has achieved significant progress in school education at all levels, the Gross Enrolment Ratio — the percentage of eligible children who are actually enrolled in a school – has increased at all levels, according to the study. In 2019-20, the GER climbed to 89.7% (up from 87.7%) at the upper primary level, 97.8% (up from 96.1%) at the elementary level, 77.9% (76.9%) at the secondary level, and 51.4 percent (up from 50.1%) at the higher secondary level (from 2018-19). While this is positive, particularly the increase in female enrollment and the growing gender parity index in secondary and higher education, the unusual circumstances created by the epidemic necessitates a fundamental shift in how school instruction is approached.
In a year when the majority of the country’s 26 million-plus schoolchildren have been unable to attend a physical class for more than a year, the lack of basic digital facilities in schools, as well as access to digital learning due to a lack of a suitable device or the financial ability to afford a broadband plan, makes a mockery of the fundamental right to education for all, guaranteed under the Right To Educare.
The crisis afflicting the private education system, notably ‘private’ schools in Tier 2, 3 and 4 cities and rural areas, aggravates the issue. During the pandemic-hit year of 2020, an estimated 15 lakh schools across India shuttered because they were unable to function effectively and pandemic-affected parents were unable or unable to pay the tuition. When schools reopen, this will result in significant dropout rates. When schools reopen after the second wave, there’s a good chance that dropout rates will rise. According to UNESCO, as many as 11 million girls may not be able to return to school as a result of the epidemic. According to a UNICEF research, 463 million children were forced to drop out of school owing to a lack of resources at home. The call to action is unmistakable. The government must significantly increase expenditure on education, particularly in terms of providing digital infrastructure and access, particularly for the poor. A plan of help and subsidised funding for disadvantaged students has been suggested by the Parliamentary Committee on Education. This has to be taken to the next level. A simple tablet or gadget with an appropriate broadband plan pre-loaded must become part of the basic aid offered to kids on the wrong side of the digital divide, just as uniforms, books, and mid-day lunches are provided.


Did CBSE has taken right decision???

The CBSE informed the Supreme Court that marks for the theory component will be calculated using a 40:30:30 formula based on the student’s performance in Classes 12, 11 and 10, respectively, to put an end to the uncertainty surrounding the results of the Class 12 board examinations affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. The student will be graded on the basis of the actual marks provided by the school to CBSE for the practical and internal assessment components. By July 15, schools must finalize their results and send them to the Board’s website, after which the CBSE will announce the results by July 31. Students who are dissatisfied with the evaluation process “shall be given the option to participate in tests to be held by the board when conditions are favorable to holding the examinations,” according to the CBSE, and “scores obtained in later exams will be considered as per this policy.”
Giving an opinion on this matter is like a dilemma. Due to COVID-19, conducting exams was a matter of concern as the government did not wanted to put the life of students in danger. But we also can’t deny the fact that 12th examination provides a direction to the career of any student. It is a life changing event. After this examination, student chooses their streams to create their future.
So, we can say that the decision is well taken by seeing the current situation but this is not the only solution for this problem. CBSE has also plan to take oral examinations. It will help but definitely then the authenticity may hamper because every examiner not ask same level of question to every student.
Well in this case whatever is happening we should have to accept it and have faith in the authoritarian decision. Also, the students must be get ready to face the humiliation by the other student because they definitely going to be compared and teased as well.

PC- Jagran

People are losing their native language to mingle with other

India is a country of colours with versatile cultures, religions and language. Here, at every 100 km dialects changed. But the beautiful thing is that people’s gratitude remains same. There are almost 23 languages that are used in India, but the dialects are infinite. Every state have their mother tongue and they proudly talks in it. But the gap in developing and underdeveloped states develop a mindset of showing themselves developed by using the language of that region. This also present a discrimination between the people who are using such language. Sometimes people create an uneducated image of the person in their mindsets. So, for proving themselves educated peoples started ignoring their own languages and dialects.
In a country which is famous for their versatile culture, tradition and language which make them unite, Is it good to neglect their language to prove them superior. Instead of feeling proud while talking people are now feeling shame on talking in their own dialect. Some people call them dehatis (uneducated) as well. It is totally a disrespect of our languages.
Every language has its own essence, and value. Knowing your mother tongue is a matter of pride, but the current generation is losing their culture and language which definitely came as a result where our future generation are unaware and untouched by these beautiful languages. Right now, we already lost some dialects as per data. Isn’t it funny, from one side people are trying to understand the language of old civilizations and from other we are losing our own language?

PC- Pinterest

Child labour rises upto 160 million, boys are far more impacted

According to the United Nations, the globe has seen its first increase in child labour in two decades, and the coronavirus pandemic threatens to put millions more children into the same situation.
The International Labour Organization and the UN Children’s Agency, UNICEF, revealed in a joint study that the number of children working was 160 million at the start of 2020, up 8.4 million in four years.
The increase began before the epidemic and is a striking reversal of a decreasing trend that saw child labour numbers drop by 94 million between 2000 and 2016, according to the report.
Just as the Covid-19 epidemic was gaining traction, approximately one out of every ten children in the world were trapped in child labour, with Sub-Saharan Africa bearing the brunt of the burden.
While the percentage of children working as children stayed unchanged from 2016, population growth meant that the number of children working as children increased dramatically.
According to the authorities, the pandemic has the potential to dramatically aggravate the situation.
They cautioned that unless immediate action is taken to assist the growing number of poor families, over 50 million additional children will be driven into child labour in the next two years.
“We are losing progress in the fight to halt child labour,” UNICEF Director-General Henrietta Fore told reporters, adding that “the Covid-19 problem is exacerbating an already dire situation.”
“Families are being forced to make heartbreaking decisions as we enter our second year of worldwide lockdowns, school closures, economic disruptions, and diminishing national budgets.”

According to the paper, if the current forecasts of poverty rise due to the pandemic come true, another nine million children would be forced into child labour by the end of 2022.
According to UNICEF statistics specialist Claudia Cappa, who co-authored the report, statistical modelling reveals that figure might be more than five times higher.
“If social protection coverage falls below present levels… due to austerity measures and other circumstances, the number of youngsters entering into child labour might increase by (an extra) 46 million” by the end of next year, she told AFP.
Children aged five to eleven made up more than half of the world number, according to the survey, which is issued every four years.
Boys were far more likely to be impacted than girls, accounting for 97 of the 160 million children working in child labour at the start of 2020.
When domestic activities are recorded for at least 21 hours per week, the gender disparity narrows by half, according to the survey.
Perhaps most alarming was the huge increase in children aged five to 17 undertaking so-called hazardous employment, which is thought to have an impact on a child’s development, education, or health.
Working in hazardous occupations such as mining or with heavy machinery, as well as working more than 43 hours a week, makes learning nearly difficult.
According to the research, 79 million youngsters were judged to be undertaking such dangerous job at the start of 2020, up 6.5 million from four years prior.
The majority of child labour is focused in the agriculture sector, which accounts for 70% of world total child labour, or 112 million children, according to the report.
Meanwhile, it was discovered that child labour occurs in the service sector at 20% and in industry at 10%.
The analysis showed that since 2016, an extra 16.6 million children have been forced into child labour in Sub-Saharan Africa due to population expansion, recurring crises, extreme poverty, and inadequate social safety measures.
In Sub-Saharan Africa, over a quarter of children aged five to 17 are already working, compared to 2.3 percent in Europe and North America.
Additional economic shocks and school closures induced by the Covid crisis, according to UN agencies, meant that children already engaged in child labour may be working longer hours and in worsening circumstances.
According to the research, many more children are at danger of being driven into the worst types of child labour as a result of job and income losses among poor families.
In a statement, ILO president Guy Ryder stated, “The revised figures are a wake-up call.” “We cannot stand by while a new generation of children is endangered,” he added, emphasizing that “we are at a critical juncture, and much hinges on how we act.”
“Now is the moment for fresh dedication and energy to end the cycle of poverty and child poverty.” Because the children are the future of the world.


Board Chooses Safety Over Exams

Intermediate examination plays an important role in boosting and pushing career of students. Also, it defines ways of the bright career by the marks which is obtained after the exams. But in this pandemic, it was the dilemma to choose between safety and the exams.
Following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s stated that Class XII examinations will be cancelled, certain states said on 5 June that they would contemplate holding their own State Board examinations. Others stated that they will make a decision shortly. Meanwhile, the state board examinations for class 12 in Haryana and Gujarat have been cancelled. Other states’ decision on the subject are awaited. The Council for The Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) has cancelled its ISC exams for this year, after the suspension of the CBSE Board test on Tuesday.
The CBSE has issued an official statement announcing that the Class 12 examinations that were postponed are now cancelled. The official statement from CBSE adds, “Any student who is not pleased with the evaluation has the opportunity to appear in the test as and when the circumstance becomes favorable.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi convened a meeting with Union Ministers, Cabinet Secretaries, and other stakeholders to address the circumstances surrounding the Class 12 board examinations and to go through all of the test possibilities. Prakash Javadekar, Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting, and Nirmala Sitharaman, Union Minister of Finance, are among those attending the meeting.
The CBSE board will develop criteria to determining the marks. Like the 2020 model, it may also apply in 2021. Internal Assessment and those who wish to participate the exams may do so when conducted. Delhi University also reacted, saying student will be taken on merit and entrance exam is not possible. The ISC has stated that they come up with some kind of assessment for awarding marks as well.
Here the question arises, what about the other examinations like JEE, NEET and the other competitive examination? For all the students and youth, this is a life-changing matter, it also shows some harsh impact on their future or career due to Pandemic.


Over 1,600 Teachers Died of COVID-19 on Poll Duty; Union Claims, Gov. Denies

Elections in pandemic hit the number of cases but these elections also impacted the people living who were engaged in conducting elections. In Uttar Pradesh, Over 1,600 Basic Education Department teachers and staff have died due to COVID-19 since the first week of April, according to a teachers’ body, with 90 percent of them on panchayat polls service.
“Since the outbreak of the second wave of COVID-19 in early April and before May 16, 1,621 teachers and staff in the Basic Education Department have died. More than 90% of the 1,621 teachers who died were on panchayat elections “n service,” Uttar Pradesh Praathmik Shishak Sangh president Dr. Dinesh Chandra Sharma told PTI. He added that while 8-10 people died from heart attacks, COVID-19 was to blame for the majority of deaths.
Though expressing sorrow over the deaths of students, Satish Chandra Dwivedi, the UP minister of state (independent charge) for basic education, said that any of these deaths could not be traced to the elections and that only three teachers died as a result of COVID, according to government reports.
Sharma said in a statement released here, “The number of deceased Basic Education Department teachers/workers had reached 706 by the third phase of the panchayat polls. In less than a fortnight, the number had risen to over 1,600 by the fourth and final process, as well as the counting day.”
They were told that teachers and staff who were sick would be exempted from voting and counting duties for the panchayat elections during a meeting with the chief secretary on May 1. However, any who became sick and did not attend voting and counting duties had their pay suspended or reduced, according to the statement.
Teachers in the Basic Education Department were also permitted to operate from home, but teachers in Lucknow, Unnao, Rae Bareli, Bantam, Basti, Hardoi, and other districts were still assigned to the COVID Control Room, according to the study, and these teachers died from COVID-19.
Even though these teachers had given 76 crores to the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund during the first coronavirus wave, no official from the Basic Education Department, the UP government, or any public representative expressed sorrow over their deaths, according to the release.
The teachers’ union requested that a financial assistance payment of Rs 1 crore be made to the kin of deceased teachers and staff.

Satish Chandra Dwivedi, responding to the teachers’ remark, told PTI that the Election Commission of India has strict instructions about the death of poll workers while on duty.
“A death that occurs before the voting party’s departure after receiving the polling kit and the deposition of the objects is called a death while on election duty.” The polling bodies of the states often obey the same rules. The State Election Commission collects data on polling staff deaths by district magistrates,” he said.
According to the minister, three teachers died while on election duties, depending on the instructions and information collected.
“We are not arguing that the rest of the deaths occurred, but they may have been doctors, police officers, fishermen, or businessmen.” COVID-19 has killed thousands of civilians. There are also teachers among them. They were a member of our family, and we are heartbroken over their passing “he said
“I have instructed officials that the department immediately clear the dues of teachers who died as a result of COVID-19, and those applications are sought from their dependents and forwarded to the administration,” Dwivedi said.
He questioned the teachers’ union’s arguments, saying, “We don’t have any fixed conditions, because all of these deaths can’t be due to elections. Is it possible for an infected person to pinpoint when he became infected? Assume there is an infectious personality that is symptomless. He dies whilst on election service. What would you do if he dies while you’re on election duty? “
Will it be called a death during election duty if a person comes into contact with a COVID-19 patient in his house, village, or among relatives on the same day after returning from poll duty and then dies?
“We do not have any such credible numbers,” Dwivedi said of the 1,621 teachers and staff killed by the Basic Education Department. “They have gathered the information through their organization.” Is there a department-by-department analysis of COVID-19 deaths? There is no such auditing scheme. We should only convey our grief when deaths occur in the usual course of events, as well as during the pandemic.”
On May 1, Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra blasted the Uttar Pradesh government for holding panchayat elections amid the COVID-19 pandemic, calling the state’s actions an “attack against humanity” and the State Election Commission is ” playing along” she said that 700 teachers had died in the state, including one who was pregnant and forced to vote.
The defending and blaming game is easy for the leader but nobody ready to accept that this all thing is happened because of their irresponsibility and due to not following the covid guidelines.

PC- The Scroll, The Logical Indian

Pandemic Revamped the Way of Learning

Pandemic, a challenging time that locked everyone in their houses. The Covid-19 outbreak disrupted the academic schedule and hindered the students’ learning graph which push the education system and forced educators to shift to an online mode of teaching overnight. In terms of transportation, accommodation, and the overall cost of institution-based learning, it is assumed to be a comparatively less expensive mode of education. Another appealing feature of online learning is the ability to arrange or prepare one’s time for completing courses available online. Blended learning and flipped classrooms are the product of combining face-to-face lectures with technology. In this fast-paced environment, the government also recognizes the growing value of online learning.
Online Teaching Is No More an Option. Indian education started to shift itself to virtual mode but what about the preparations. The accessibility of smartphones, laptops, and the internet connection, What about the poor section of society, Can they afford these requirements? Also, the middle-class section, Can they afford the fees and this requirement during the pandemic, when the earing is less and some of them even lost their jobs.
The rising dropout rate, primarily among students in grades 6 to 10, is being attributed to their parents’ deteriorating financial situation as a result of the pandemic’s effects. The issue has been recorded across the nation. According to UNESCO, 154 crore students have been disrupted globally as a result of school closures during the pandemic.
According to Right to Education Forum policy brief released on January 24 2021, the COVID-19 pandemic could force ten million Indian girls to drop out of secondary school with 1.6 million girls aged 11 to 14 years out of school, the pandemic may have a disproportionately negative impact on girls, putting them at risk of early marriage, pregnancy, poverty, human trafficking and violence.
According to a survey of children’s NGOs conducted by Nobel Laureate Kailash Satyarthi, 85 percent of the responding organizations believe that school dropouts will rise in the post-lockdown era. When a family’s income is reduced, the expectation that children contribute financially will grow. According to the study, more children will be required to work. Underprivileged rural households with school-aged children were also surveyed as part of the same initiative. According to the survey, 20% of respondent households with school-aged children are considering withdrawing their children from school due to financial constraints.
According to the United Nations, there are 250 million school-going children in India. The enrolment rates for progressive stages of schooling have been growing steadily over the decades.

The International Labour Organization (ILO) estimates that of the 152 million child laborers in the world, more than 7 percent are in India.
Online learning also has a significant problem with a personal focus. Students want two-way communication, which can be difficult to achieve. The learning process will not achieve its full potential until students put what they’ve learned into effect. Online content can be theoretical at times, making it difficult for students to practice and learn effectively. Students were found to be unprepared to balance their work, families, and social lives with their study life in an online learning environment in a study. Students were found to be underprepared for a variety of e-learning and academic-type competencies.
While online education has several drawbacks, we cannot overlook its advantages in these times of crisis. We can still come up with solutions to these problems. To the greatest extent possible, efforts should be made to humanize the learning process. Students should be given individual attention so that they can easily adapt to this new learning environment.

PC- Paradiso LMS, World Economic Forum