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Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Fit India online training

Fit India online training 

Schools in India have been closed for the past two months due to the Corona crisis and lockdown.  Online education has been arranged by the governments.  But in many places, children are unable to take advantage of this due to lack of smartphone and internet facilities.  This facility of online education is reaching children studying in schools in urban areas but it is still far away from children in rural areas.

 Like Himani Yadav, there are many children who want to go to school.  But they do not know when their schools will open.  Most of the children and teachers we talked to do not even know what an online class is.

 Arjun Shahi, who lives in Barka village in Muzaffarpur district of Bihar, says, "We are people living in the village. We have no idea what an online class is."  Arjun told that his son studies in the fifth grade in the primary school in the village.
 Amar Kumar Singh, 26 years old, is the founder of the revolutionary youth club.  He says that it is not possible to study in rural and tribal areas through Zoom or other apps.  Here children and teachers have a habit of studying through chalk and blackboard.  There is no point sending them notes and videos through WhatsApp and voice recording.

 This youth club has 20 members who work on the hygiene and their educational needs of the tribal people living in the Ramgarh district of Jharkhand.  Currently, this team is working with the district administration to provide education to the children of rural areas during lockdown.  Amar Kumar expresses concern, asking, "We do not know when the schools will open. And even if the schools are open, will the parents send their children to school in this situation?"

 According to a report presented by the Ministry of Human Resource Development in the Lok Sabha in February, the main reasons for children leaving school are poverty, poor health and helping with household chores.

 Talking about the impact of the lockdown on rural children, Nagakartik, founder of the Solar System Foundation, says that it will have the greatest impact on the economically weaker children living in rural areas.  Their ability to learn and understand will be less.  The parents of these children are prohibiting their children from going to school due to financial stress.  Its effect is going to be long term.  The Solar System Foundation is a non-profit organization that performs social work among the disadvantaged in far-flung areas.
 According to the 2018 Annual Status of Education Report (ASAR), the number of out-of-school children in India is not more than 2.8 percent.  This was the first time that this figure had gone below 3 percent.  In this way, the total enrollment in schools came down to 97.2 percent.  However, according to the same report, these improvements visible in such figures do not reflect the real state of rural schools.  Children are sent to school but there is no improvement in the standard of education.

 Recently, the Uttar Pradesh government had advised teachers to send educational material through WhatsApp groups, All India Radio (AIR) and community radio, especially in areas where TV coverage is limited.  This might be a good idea on paper, but no one bothered to think about practical problems such as Internet connectivity, the number of active Internet users, and the availability of Internet data packs for students in rural areas.

 Most of these schemes are on paper, says Dilip Tripathi, the village head of Hasuri Ausanpur village in Uttar Pradesh's Siddharth Nagar district.  Hardly anything of these has happened at the ground level.  He says that there is hardly anyone in our village who has a radio in his house.  He does not think that even 10 per cent of the people will be aware of these radio lectures.

 Discussing the impact and implementation of these schemes, Nagakartik says that according to the present situation, large-scale use of communication mediums like radio is very important.  But along with this, the question also arises as to how effective it will prove to be.  He also says that while studying at home, a poor child faces many challenges such as the availability of a smartphone, reading space and an environment suitable for learning new things.


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