Survey finds loopholes in online learning in Odisha
The study aimed at understanding the education scenario, particularly pre-school and elementary education during Covid-19 in Odisha.
BHUBANESWAR: Contrary to the government claim that 33 per cent of the 60 lakh students in the age group of 6 to 14 years pursuing elementary education in Odisha are attending online classes, a survey has revealed that only about 6 lakh students are getting access to digital learning. The survey titled ‘Paused Classrooms’, carried out by Save the Children and Odisha RTE Forum, was released on Wednesday.
The study aimed at understanding the education scenario, particularly pre-school and elementary education during Covid-19 in Odisha, stated that not only has the pandemic slowed down the learning process among children but also created a digital disparity among students in urban and rural parts of the State. It pointed out that the School and Mass Education department did not take into consideration the infrastructure and connectivity issues in rural parts of the State before launching the online education programme.
The study revealed that the Odisha Shiksha Sanjog programme that aimed at e-learning during the pandemic, has not been able to cover even 50 pc of the school students except in Khurda district. The programme was launched by the School and Mass Education department last year to engage students in the learning process through WhatsApp groups. This apart, the pandemic has brought to a complete halt mother tongue-based learning for tribal children.
While children of 22 among 63 tribal communities in the State are learning the curriculum in their mother tongue till Class V and Odia and English are subsequently added to it, the study found out that there was no specific planning by the government to develop online learning materials in their language. “No tribal student of primary grades is currently receiving learning materials in his/her mother tongue”, it claimed. Convenor of Odisha RTE Forum Anil Pradhan said online education was also a new concept for a majority of teachers who were technically weak.
“The online learning process has also been affected during the pandemic because teachers were not habituated to e-learning and often found it difficult to communicate with students. Hence, they were unable to conduct online classes regularly and properly”, he said. Besides, the online learning process has remained one-sided with no scope for interactions or doubt-clearing sessions and follow-up by the teachers. The survey was carried out in 15 districts.