By HT School Web Desk, Jun 03, 2021 11:15
Social distancing measures mandated by the COVID-19 pandemic has brought about a sea change in the education sector globally. It has paved the way for digital methods of teaching and learning. According to the findings of a recent report, India has done noticeably well in its transition from offline to online learning mode during the COVID-19 lockdown which left students and teachers with the only choice of virtual education. The report, named Education: The Journey Towards a Digital Revolution, published by the Oxford University Press (OUP), found that India’s performance in this segment has been impressive despite worrying issues like access to digital learning devices and lack of internet connectivity. However, it suggested that the governments need to take fast actions to ensure that the progress of the last year isn’t lost.
This OUP survey, which is based on extensive secondary research, drew insights from experts across seven countries — India, the UK, Brazil, South Africa, Pakistan, Spain, and Turkey and hundreds. It includes views and opinions from hundreds of teachers all over the world.
What does the report say?
The Covid-19 pandemic impacted more than 1.7 billion students across the globe over the last year. This OUP report anaysed how students, parents and teachers adapted to new teaching and learning methods during this phase. It found that compared to all other countries included in the survey, India performed quite well in its transition to online learning, scoring 3.3 out of 5. However, there were concerns regarding unequal access to digital devices, poor internet connectivity and lack of familiarity with virtual learning tools. According to the report, 71 per cent participants from India felt that shifting to online mode of learning has been detrimental to well-being. On the basis of these findings, the report suggests that the government needs to focus on sufficient fund allocation for technology integration and addressing internet connectivity issues, especially in the rural sector.
What are the major barriers?
The report identified top three areas that can have a negative impact on the evolution of digital education in India: Socio-economic barriers, lack of professional development opportunities for teachers, and disruption or uncertainty in day-to-day life caused by the pandemic. The government needs to address these issues as the educational landscape reshapes itself.