Online Learning in Rural India

Ryan Sinha
Sunday, June 13, 2021

As we have discussed in the previous articles 'Online Learning and IT in school' online learning had become an essential life part of every student's life, well mostly, because many students in rural Indian are yet to receive the amazing benefits online learning has to offer.

The Indian government has recommended moving to online learning as a stop-gap arrangement to evade any disruptions in academic calendars. Technology and smart classrooms aren't only transforming education in highly paid private schools, but it's gradually making inroads in government schools.

Consequently, e-learning is now on its way transform the education sector. It is showing a positive transformation and schools and colleges in rural areas also are adapting to technology day by day. It is motivating to ascertain that even rural areas are stepping up to rework traditional education into a digitally-enhanced process.

Online learning could immensely transform the education sector of rural India. Some parents refrain their children from attending school because it is time-consuming to travel long distances to attend school and to spend time returning home. Even more, when the time could be spent earning money. Online learning enables students to learn at home or on the go. Children attending school could now directly sit from home and study which would spare their parents of investing a considerable amount of time in arranging their daily school transport.

Online learning also helps with the arranging of textbooks and reference materials for students especially, for those belonging to the higher grades. Buying the physical copies of these textbooks could essentially, deter poor parents from buying them. However, with online learning, the teacher could simply just upload the textbook and notes which would allow the students to just study from it digitally. Online learning also allows teachers to use a wide variety of materials to explain a concept to students. For example, the experiments done in Chemistry etc.

While the benefits of online learning are manifold, there are still many roadblocks within the way ahead towards making education a completely digital (online) phenomenon.

•Lack of basic infrastructure need for Online Learning:

Online learning requires three main materials: An electronic gadget, a stable internet connection and a stable electricity supply. Many families in rural can't afford expensive electronic gadgets such as laptops and have to resolve to learn through old smartphones which makes online learning harder. Electricity supply in India is not very stable and could lead to a particularly bad situation wherein, a student is not able to attend classes because he/she can't charge their device or their internet connection is broken due to the electricity being stopped.

•Digital illiteracy and unfamiliarity with digital technology:

Many students and teachers in India are not familiar with modern technology and applications which leads to them being unable to use the resources provided. This gap in computer illiteracy must be bridged in order for both students and teacher alike to use the benefits and advantages that online learning has to offer.

With the Covid-19 putting a halt on classroom learning sessions, online learning has paved a brand new path to retain normalcy for students and teachers. It's heartening to see that not only urban educational institutes but the state-run schools in rural areas have also gone digital and resorted to online classes to avert academic losses. Although not every village and city in India is infrastructurally developed to sustain online education, it's motivating to ascertain many rural schools and colleges adapting completely to e-learning during these times. With the continual support from the government and innovations arising in digital technology, online learning is going to be made affordable and accessible.


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