• Only 20% of school-age children in India had access to remote education during the crisis, of whom only half participated in live online lessons, according to a new national sample survey by ICRIER and LIRNEAsia, a think tank focused on digital policy.
• In fact, 38% of households said at least one child had dropped out of school.
• The survey found that although digital connectivity shot up 40% during the pandemic, low access to devices, poor signal and high costs prevented most children from reaping the benefits.
• Among children aged 5-18, it found that 80% of those who were enrolled in schools prior to the pandemic did not receive any educational services at all during school closure.
• The situation was significantly worse among those from lower socio-economic classes, where the head of the household had lower education levels, and among rural households.
• Among the 20% who received education, only 55% had access to live online classes, while 68% had access to recorded audio or video lessons.
• Three-fourths of the students had work sent to them over a smartphone, usually via WhatsApp, and 61% via text messages.
• Almost 70% had contact with their teachers via phone calls.
Mains Paper 2: Education
Prelims level: Remote Education
Mains level: Scenario and challenges to implement remote education system