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The central government is considering adopting long-term measures to reduce social inequality present in online education, including distributing laptops or tablets to students in 40 percent of colleges and universities across the country in the next five years. .
The importance of online education has increased significantly across the country due to the COVID-19 epidemic, but social inequality and digital divide still remain a major challenge for online education.
According to the Department of School Education and Literacy, under the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Department of School Education and Literacy estimates, per school for sanitation and quarantine measures to reopen schools closed due to epidemics Will need to spend up to 1 lakh rupees.
To equip about 3.1 lakh government schools which do not have Information and Communication Technology (ICT) facilities, the Central Government will propose a budget of Rs 55,840 crore.
MHRD has proposed to spend Rs 2,306 crore on development and translation of digital course materials and resources in the next five years.
The central government has also planned to provide laptops and tablets to around 4.06 crore students (about 40 percent of the total student population of the country) studying in various universities across the country by the year 2026 and a total of Rs 60,900 crore for this work. The budget has been set.
According to the Department of School Education and Literacy, the Center and the state will share the cost of providing the equipment in the ratio of 60:40 at present.
Online education and COVID-19
It is important to note that the activities of various sectors including education have been severely affected due to COVID-19 and lockdown implemented for its control in the country.
According to experts, in the absence of any authentic treatment of COVID-19 in the world, the best option would be to stop the spread of this disease, so we have to make changes in our daily activities accordingly.
Since the beginning of the lockdown in India, almost all educational institutions have been using online education or e-learning as an option for educational work, thus increasing the popularity of online education among the general public of the country. developed.
While many experts have acknowledged the importance of online education or e-learning in the current epidemic, some critics are of the opinion that online education cannot replace the traditional method of study.
E-learning or online education
E-education refers to education in its place with the help of internet and other communication devices. There are various forms of e-learning, including web-based learning, mobile-based learning or computer-based learning, and virtual classrooms, etc.
Limits and challenges of online education
Before the COVID-19 epidemic, most of the Indian educational institutions have not had any special experience of online education, in such a way, it is necessary for educational institutions to adjust their system to online education and provide more and more educational materials to the students online. It will be a big challenge.
Even at the present time there is a lot of lack of digital infrastructure in India, the number of students in the country is still very limited, who have facilities like laptop or tablet computer. Therefore it is a big problem for such students to join online classes.
Technology is also a big problem for teachers, most of the teachers in the country are not technically trained enough to conduct an online class of 30 children and provide study material online to them.
Students may face problems due to lack of study material related to many specialized courses or regional languages on the Internet.
In many disciplines, students need practical education, so it is very difficult to teach such subjects through distance.
The impact of COVID-19 and lockdown on the education sector has forced educational institutions to consider new alternatives to the medium of instruction.
E-education in India is in its infancy, it is necessary to promote a new learning option in the form of e-education by addressing various challenges in its path.
Access to education during lockdown can be ensured even in rural areas located in remote parts of the country through television and radio programs.