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Need to concentrate more on education in rural areas: Joyanto Mukherjee

In conversation with Joyanto Mukherjee, Media Education Guru and Education Industry Specialist.

What is view on the upcoming Union budget?

In the upcoming budget, one of the biggest expectations will be funds being made available to digitalise rural education. We are headed towards a huge intellectual loss due to the forced digitalisation of education during the Covid outbreak. The biggest losers have been students in the rural and not so upward areas across the country who lost out or could not get access to the trend of online classes. It is said that almost 80 percent of India’s schools are in its villages.  A majority of these schools are distinctly away from the digitalisation wave. These classrooms are not connected and students have been at a massive loss when it comes to education delivery during the pandemic.

The digitalisation of the government schools and rural education is a must as there is now a huge divide between urban and rural education due to the privilege of access to digital education, a gap which was larger earlier but now has become larger. It is said that over 260 million students are enrolled in the K12 sector of India. Now imagine that a huge part of this part is in the rural section of the country. Imagine how they would have coped with the absence of any form teaching since the advent of the pandemic. These students have lost a considerable chunk of their education and will continue to do so in the absence of a proper digital infrastructure. There is a definite need for a large fund allocation to provide a robust digital infrastructure to this sector and help them cope with these changing times. The budget will have to allocate funds which will also matter to digitally uplift the teachers in these regions as without proper instructors the students would be at a loss overall.

There is a definite need for proper fund allocation and also a proper flow plan as to how the implementation of the same will happen. The time is short as these students have already lost out big time and needs an immediate bail out. I hope the FM pays her due attention to this ticking bomb in the education sector.

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