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Sunday, January 17, 2021

    Learning the E-Way: A ‘digital’ division

    The basic need for education for all becomes a commodity of the privileged

    Technological up-gradation is the need of the hour. The educational systems across the globe have moved towards e-learning in a big way which is commendable and revolutionary.

    The impact technology has had on education over the last few months is extremely note-worthy and has become a new age sword to fathom the impossibilities of the given times.

    With the positives, we also have a few lapses which come with this new system. Lapses such as “Unable to Attend Online Classes, Student Allegedly Commits Suicide”, highlights the unspoken divide in society and brings it to the forefront. The basic need for education for all becomes a commodity of the privileged.

    The “Digital Divide” is a reality which we cannot unsee and undo. We cannot put a blind eye and neglect the sections in our society, who still are technologically less updated. There are still many who do not possess a smartphone, let alone a personal computer or a laptop. There still are areas where electricity is not available 24×7.

    In Assam, we have around 10.75 lakh people who are affected by the rampant flood situation and are unable to use technology to connect. Isn’t education a basic need for them? Isn’t education a necessity for these learners? 

    The other leaf of lapse that comes across with e-learning especially in Assam and the other Northeastern states is the question about ‘How confident are our educators with this new medium of teaching and learning?’

    We need to understand that technological advancements and pro-skills for our educators are areas which still need development, and so a sudden gush of new aids in teaching may not be the best option for our educators without a guiding hand. The educators need training from avenues who understand their plight, their shortcomings, their strengths and their needs.

    Training by resource persons who are not quite in tune with the situations in our states may have a reverse impact on our educators for the sheer lack of understanding of the situation.

    Hence, as a society of knowledgeable individuals, we should think in the lines of how to rework on the education system of e-learning for both our educators as well as our learners. We need to think about the platforms that could be used for the training of our educators and the teaching of our learners to meet the new aged technology to cope with the education system in the world.

    (The writer is a PhD Scholar and a trainer from Guwahati)


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