Published: 14th June 2020
1.66 crore students from rural Maharashtra to miss online education due to lack of smooth power supply, internet facilities
Today 4,949 schools in remote areas are not connected to electricity. Of these, 274 are students of secondary and higher secondary schools
With just one day to get for the start of the next educational year and the state to go in for online education for the students in the state, it is feared that around 1.66 crore students from rural Maharashtra may give it a miss. In a memorandum to the Education Minister Varsha Gaikwad, founder-president of the Shramajivi Sanghatana and chairman of the government appointed Scheduled Areas Review Committee in the state, Vivek Pandit, has expressed this fear on account of the absence of power and poor connectivity in the rural region, in addition to the non-possession of at least smartphones by the students.
In his letter Pandit said, "Now, the state government is ready to start the system of online education for the academic year 2020-21 so that there is no educational loss to the children. In the current age of technology and to combat the Corona crisis, this on-line learning approach is highly commendable. But it needs to be implemented properly.
The main reason is that the online education system is a part of technology and is related to the network and the Internet. However, it will be necessary to study the current situation in Maharashtra, especially in rural and remote areas. At present, there are 1,06,327 primary schools and 27,446 secondary and higher secondary schools in Maharashtra where 2.24 lakh students are studying in these schools.
Out of this, the number of schools in rural and remote areas is as high as 99,144 (74.16 per cent).The number of students is at least 1.66 lakhs (74 per cent).zIt is a fact that even today, especially in remote tribal areas, the power supply is not smooth. Even today 4,949 schools in remote areas are not connected to electricity. Of these, 274 are students of secondary and higher secondary schools.
Out of the total schools in the state, 51 thousand 677 (48.65%) schools do not have computer and internet facilities. This means that these students have not even got basic knowledge of computers. If the teacher was to give that training to the students when he needs to be trained himself. That, too, needs to be considered. He further said that the following needs to be considered first before starting the online studies in rural areas of the district.The first one is the power connection and power supply should be streamlined in every village for online schooling for students from rural areas, mobile network and internet facility should be provided in every village, every poor student should be given a laptop, tab, or Android mobile.
Adequate internet data required for this should be made available free of cost, Also, before implementing online education system, all teachers should be given technical education ,so that they can train the students. Also, the government should take care that no injustice will be done to poor students while imparting online education, he urged.