The pandemic has brought with it nothing else but devastation and destruction. This destruction is not temporary, it will have an effect on the growth of our country in the upcoming years. One of the reasons would be the hardest hit education sector in our country.
The virtual mode of classes has gained the limelight but it has been very difficult for many children in rural areas to continue their studies without hurdles.
These virtual classes require an uninterrupted data connection and a gadget to attend classes on. They do not have access to these things, they might have sufficient data to access information from the web but to attend classes without network disturbance is not possible for them
Some of the government schools are not even holding virtual classes because they don’t have the resources and the teachers and students aren’t well equipped. The loss of these two academic years could have an adverse effect on the country’s future.
Teachers had to be trained to teach virtually and they tried their best to learn so that the studies do not get hampered but these teachers and students who have been teaching and learning in the physical mode for years can not suddenly transition to the digital mode. Children are better at adapting to new technologies but the teachers have had a hard time getting used to the digital mode and even then, the techniques and methods with which these experienced teachers used to teach couldn’t be implemented effectively through the screens.
The other problem faced by many school children is the lack of midday meal which was provided to them at their schools.Those children who benefitted from the Midday Meal Scheme are now deprived of nutrition although the government has now promised to give Rs.100 to each student of classes 1st to 8th who used to get the Midday meal but this is surely not enough to compensate the malnutrition faced by the students in the last year.
The unemployment rates have shot up and they have never been this bad. During the pandemic, many students are facing difficulties in getting placed into companies because many of them have initiated a hiring freeze for some time.
The fee has been a major issue during the lockdown period. Many schools and colleges are demanding the same amount of fees as during the regular classes but parents/guardians are not able to pay the fee of these educational institutions because many of them have lost their jobs. But it’s a loop because these educational institutions have also suffered due to the unpaid fees and hence considered lay off of teachers as an option.
All these issues have further increased the digital divide in our country. While many students are able to attend classes and continue the preparations for their exams, some of them are still struggling to get the uninterrupted data connection and many are devoid of online classes since the last year.