It’s quite difficult for rural college students to study online amid COVID-19 as they open their books at the sight of the cart that comes near their houses, filling the empty area left by closure of colleges because of the lockdown and an inadequacy of digital infrastructure like weak internet connectivity.
How College Students from Rural Areas Are Studying Online During COVID-19
For maintaining social distancing, the college students take notes from their houses as the teacher imparts lessons utilizing the loudspeaker attached to the cart. The teachers are asked for going turn-wise with the cart and park that at a convenient area and then impart lessons from there. It can’t match up to the classroom teaching and learning procedures but will make sure some learning. This new bizarre way of teaching college students is quite common in the rural areas of the nation. The lockdown driven by COVID-19 in March prompted colleges to shift to the virtual world for teaching and educating activities. But feeble internet connectivity has changed online education into a distant dream for many college students in the rural locations.
It is still unclear how many students have access to the internet and digital devices. Some teachers are utilizing the public declaration system of village Panchayats for sharing songs, stories, and instructions for parents on the ways of dealing with the candidates amid the lockdown period, the necessity of working out, and more. During this crisis period, it cannot be expected that students will simply grab the smartphones of their parents and begin attending classes. Although it is impossible to clarify complicated subjects like mathematical issues through loudspeakers, the tactic is at least making sure that educating is not completely destroyed.
In some rural areas, teachers identify students who have access to digital devices and create groups clubbing them with candidates with no digital access. It works in case one among all students has access to a smartphone and lives near other students’ houses. The teachers send all lessons on the phones of the parents. And other candidates note down the lessons from the smartphones of their classmates’ parents, finish assignments at their houses and send them back utilizing the same gadget. The teachers also direct students to not gather at once at the houses of those with smartphones but in slots to make sure social distancing. Teachers have also pooled in money to receive data recharges for parents who are allowing the group for studying online so they are not demotivated due to the expense.
Governments should form a combination of various methods, but significantly ensure that every student can study online amid COVID-19. The courts also have a pivotal role in making sure the maintenance of equality across such government activities. They should make sure a student’s right to education is not violated. Hence, the governments across the states, in case they continue with online learning, should offer gadgets and subsidized internet plans for the candidates who can’t afford it, and make learning available via several mediums like radio channels, YouTube, etc.