Online classes and class discrimination

The online education revolution is great conceptually speaking, although it started with the pandemic. But as we all know that every change brings with it multiple problems, online education once again sheds light on a problem since the time of Mahabharata; Discrimination in Education.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

This time it is based on the financial status of a family. The added pressure by parents, teachers, and the society along with news channels confusing on whether the education will resume or not bring back the fear of losing a year in the academic calendar for both students and people associated with students.

Yet the pivotal question is not only on the exam but the feasibility of any online means of institution-based education. India as of 2020 is the largest emerging market of mobile phones, accounting for more than 10% of the global smartphone market. As per the Statista Research Department Report published in March 2020, India has the second-largest internet users in the world, with 560 million, behind only to China. But only 34% of the total population had access to the Internet as per 2017 reports. The figure also carries a vast gender disparity where the ratio of male and female users is approx. 70% and 30%, respectively. An analysis of the rural-urban division of internet usage complexes the internet penetration and shows the disparity. A whopping 66% of the total population lives in rural India. Still, it accounts for just 25.3% internet density compared to the 34% of the urban population having around 98% internet connectivity, as per the report of TRAI.

Internet availability is not the only issue, internet speed also plays a vital role in online education. As per the March 2020 trends of the Speedtest Global Index, India ranks 130 out of 141 nations with a download speed of 10.15 Mbps compared to the global average of 30.47 Mbps.

The internet shutdown is also an important issue to be looked at as Kashmir, and some parts in Northeastern states. Harassment and abusive comments, remarks on the structure of the house, or the place they live are all mocked and made fun of and this largely discourages the students during lectures.

Education is a right and not a privilege, but in today’s scenario, it has changed to something not easily accessible. While the pandemic has hampered the lives and livelihood of all the impact it makes on students and the academic practices are horrifyingly irreversible.

Contributed by Pradum content writer at Mitti Ke Rang

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