Online Education: Making Learning Accessible to the Marginalised
The right to education is universal and should prevail without any discrimination. However, we still face difficulties in ensuring equal access to education for all. Current educational programs may have fallen short of meeting the requirements of children who are marginalised and excluded. National educational policies, designed to uplift the underrepresented sections, do not reach these groups. And thus, the failure of implementing effective tools results in denying many children their right to education.
Educational institutions are meant to provide students with the best possible opportunities to secure a meaningful role in society, thus encouraging an equal society. But, the status quo demonstrates some other reality in the country.
The Prevailing Educational Divide in India
Education of the disadvantaged socioeconomic groups of our society is in an alarming condition. But why is that? Let’s discover the reasons behind it.
The foremost being the discrimination that fosters an unwelcoming environment. And this eventually leads to the child’s refusal to attend school. Children of migratory workers are particularly prone to dropping out due to their parents’ absence while looking for work.
In addition, the financial condition of underprivileged children blocks access to quality education opportunities. The vicious poverty cycle prevents them from getting literate. The cost of schooling from elementary up to university is far more unbearable for these marginalised groups.
Furthermore, The social taboos, generally for female students, shut them off from the opportunity to attend schools. Either because of the safety concerns or the age-old unfair beliefs, parents in rural areas discourage girls from pursuing higher education. In addition, the lack of proper infrastructure inside the school premises makes it uncomfortable for female students to continue their studies.
From the deprived social sections to the people below the poverty line in urban areas, quality education is few and far between. Addressing such limitations is the core purpose behind the technological intervention in the education sector, and hence, online learning remains the most effective way.
Closing the Gap with Online Education
With the advanced technological development in the education sector, teaching and learning are undergoing significant changes.
The coming age of e-learning has tremendous power, bridging the educational gap of marginalised with the privileged sections.
Increased internet penetration into every household has provided a solid foundation to make e-learning easily available. As a result, it is revolutionising our classrooms. Taking quality learning inside remote areas, from saving the time and cost of commuting in the far-flung regions to making the school bags lighter, it has an advantage over the traditional learning methods.
Digital learning focuses on the right to education of a girl child and narrows down the educational gap. The female section of our society, suffering from numerous social barriers, can easily enrol in digital study-from-home courses.
The infrastructural cost of any educational institute is higher than the digital resources. Moreover, the costs of textbooks, notebooks, and stationeries amidst the pandemic is a financial challenge. But the online mode encourages a low-cost learning mechanism. With just one screen and a stable internet connection, an ocean of knowledge can be imparted to a group of learners.
One of the downsides of offline learning involves the fixed timing of the learning sessions. However, with more acceptance of online modes, students enjoy the freedom to schedule their classes on their own, whenever they feel like studying. This on-demand education delivery optimises the whole learning system.
Supporting the online mode of learning, some governments and organisations are providing digital learning resources to those kids who are in need, such as computers or tablets with internet connection. Access to these facilities will uplift many kids at an affordable educational cost.
Towards the Educational Equality
Quality education is a crucial technique for bringing about the required changes for a country’s social, cultural, and economic growth.
It’s indefensible if we cannot secure children’s future with proper education and provide equal means to every social group. Therefore, developing and successfully enforcing an affordable, uniform, and better quality digital education ecosystem should be the need of the hour.