“Those from economically weaker sections are struggling to get enough access to digital classrooms as their parents do not have the resources to provide the tool”
When the government asked schools to go for online lectures to deal with coronavirus it seems it did not think of students and several others who cannot afford the electronic gadgets required to attend online classes.
Parents of those children are worried thinking that their children might lag in studies as they do not have access to and they cannot get guidance from teachers as schools have not yet opened.
Prahlad Mhaske, a 43-year-old resident of Balaji Nagar and father of Ankita and Aniket said, “I want my children to study hard and achieve something in their lives. I do not want them to face the hardship that I am facing now. However, in this online education scenario, I am seeing them lag as they are not able to attend even a single lecture due to the lack of a smartphone.”
To curb the number of cases of COVID-19, the state government has decided to not open schools and colleges. To ensure that the students are not losing on studies, most of the schools have started online classes for the students. However, there are some students from economically weaker sections whose parents cannot afford to invest in electronic gadgets for them to attend the online classes.
While these families cannot afford any gadgets, there are parents with two or more children, and all of them are now sitting at home and studying on their own. Ashwini Kadam is a resident of Hanuman Nagar whose husband has passed away and she works as a domestic help to look after her three children said, “During this pandemic, I am not getting enough work to earn to run my family so how can I buy my three children a smartphone each for their education. My eldest son is now in class XI and is teaching his two siblings who are in XI and VI.”
Some schools have asked the teachers to be present in schools so that the children with no access to online classes can visit them for guidance. However, some areas are containment zones where children cannot come to school. Some school authorities are in a process of writing letters to the government authorities to attract their attention to this issue.
When contacted, district collector Naval Kishore Ram said, “I will hold a meeting with senior officials of the education department and will ask them to work on finding a solution on the issue.”
(With inputs from PuneMirror)