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Digital Divide for Students is More than Just a Year Loss

Digital Divide

Long intervals of school shutdown are expected to affect students’ learning capacity waning away their previously acquired lessons. The digital divide and detachment from studies also mean high uncertainties about children returning back to school when schools reopen. UNESCO reports that protracted home confinement and financial strains could widen the gulf between children and school education, increasing dropout rates.

Rukmini Banerji, CEO of Pratham Education Foundation, explains in an article about students already at a disadvantageous position with respect to learning. According to findings of the 2018-19 Grade Learning Programme, published by the Uttar Pradesh government and Pratham, data revealed that students whose reading skills were not as developed as their fellow peers suffered a greater setback during the summer recess. Unless, the COVID-19 hiatus in education is filled with innovative learning techniques, the results are predicted to be far worse.

Various research has already shown how the ‘summer learning loss’ is detrimental to the continuum of learning and kids regress academically during such prolonged holidays or detachment from school curriculum a repercussion resulting from digital divide. The NSO’s Household Social Consumption on Education survey finds disclose that only 4 percent of rural households had access to computers, between June 2017 and June 2018 compared to 23 percent of urban households.

Researchers worry about the possibility of another generation belonging to the backward section of the society trapped in the vicious cycle of poverty unless equipped with innovative and feasible learning measures during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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