Remote Education

• 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.

About:

• 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.

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Mains Paper 2: Education

Prelims level: Remote Education

Mains level: Scenario and challenges to implement remote education system

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