Bhubaneswar: Contrary to the government’s claim that 33 percent of 60 lakh students aged 6 to 14 who pursue a primary education in Odisha and attend online classes, a study found that only about 6 lakh students receive digital learning. A study entitled ‘Paused Classrooms’, conducted by Save the Children and the Odisha RTE Forum, was released on Wednesday.
The study aimed to understand the state of education, especially pre-school education and primary education during the Covid-19 period in Odisha, which said that not only did the pandemic slow down children’s learning but also created digital disparities between students in urban and rural areas of the State. It pointed out that the Department of School Education and Mass education had not addressed the issues of infrastructure and connectivity in the rural areas of the State before launching an online education program.
The study revealed that the Odisha Shiksha Sanjog program, which focused on e-teaching during the epidemic, could not cover even the PCs of 50 schoolchildren outside the Khurda district. The program was launched by the Department of School and Mass Education last year to engage students in the WhatsApp group learning program. This apart, the pandemic has brought to a complete halt mother tongue-based learning for tribal children.
While 22 out of 63 communities in the State are studying the curriculum in their mother tongue until class 5 and Odia and English are not heard in it, the study found that there is no specific program for the government through online learning. in their own language. No elementary school student currently has access to material in his or her mother tongue. Odisha RTE Forum coordinator Anil Pradhan said online education was also a new concept for many teachers who were technically weak.
“The online learning system was also affected during the pandemic because teachers were unfamiliar with e-learning and found it difficult to communicate with students. Therefore, they could not conduct online classes regularly and efficiently,” he said. Other than that, the process of online learning remains one-sided without communication space or moments to eliminate doubts and follow-up by teachers. The study was conducted in 15 districts.( government’s claim)