The Hush Post| 13:17 |one-minute-read|
Nearly 32 crore Indian school-going children are studying through online classes in the absence of schools during lockdown as a result of Covid-19 pandemic.
In March, as cases of coronavirus started reporting, most states ordered schools to close.
Two-and-a-half-months later, the children remain away from classrooms and have been advised online learning.
States were mapped based on the percentage of families with minimum one computer-literate member and the percentage of Class 5 children who can read a Class 2 level text. Kerala and Himachal Pradesh topped the list of states with highest internet penetration, with over 40 per cent population covered with internet facility in the countryside. Urban areas in these two states had close to 90 per cent internet facility.
Punjab, Haryana and Uttarakhand have internet facility between 30 to 40 per cent in rural areas. The rest of the country has below 30 per cent internet penetration. As a result students cannot attend online classes as well.
The Annual Status of Education Report, released by nonprofit Pratham, offers some disturbing answers. In 2018, just 50 percent rural children in Class 5 could read a Class 2 level text, and only 28 percent could do division problems, the survey found. The data showed that the states with poorer learning were the ones where students had lesser academic support at home. These very students would need such support during the lockdown, such as educated and computer-literate family members. Worse, dropout rates in poor-learning states also tend to be high.