Lockdown impact: Children in Uttar Pradesh villages deprive of education

Students living in Urban cities have the privilege to opt education online but, lakhs of children living in villages are deprived of this luxury, that makes then exude from the new system

Representative Image (Photo Courtesy: social media)
Representative Image (Photo Courtesy: social media)
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NH Web Desk

The scare of Coronavirus is constantly increasing as the rising COVID-19 cases has halted many business and industries. All educational institute are also closed for almost 4 months. This induces the Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) and state governments to advice schools and colleges to find alternate studying strategies.

Alike many other sectors, alternate education strategies depend highly upon internet, apps and technology.

Students living in urban cities have the privilege to opt education online but, on the other hand lakhs of children living in villages are deprived of this luxury.

Ten-year-old Nidhi aspires to become a police officer while her friend Jyoti wants to become a doctor but the ongoing Corona crisis have put their dreams on hold for now, a report in The Print said.

“Before the lockdown our classes were being conducted, but since then no one has contacted us. I attend a government school. My teacher or principal has not called so far. I study at home but my parents are unable to answer my queries as they are not able to understand much,” said Nidhi of Tiloiya Khurd village in Hardoi, UP.

Parents are concerned and upset over the district administration and school authorities not taking up the matter.

“My sister-in-law who lives in Delhi called and asked whether my son was getting any homework through WhatsApp and online classes. I told her no one has contacted us. Mere bache toh peeche reh jayenge (my children will be left behind). Government should do something about this. The lockdown has now been extended, so when will my kids start learning again?” one of the parents told The Print.

The Print quoted Rashmi, a parent as saying, Yahan sarkari schools ki haalat waise hee itni kharab thi ab toh school hee nahi hai (the condition of government schools is already so bad, now it’s not even there).

Many parents in the village are uneducated and hence can not help or tutor their children.

“We could not study and had to stay back and work in the village. I don’t want the same to happen to my kids. This is why I admitted them to a private school, so that they could go to big cities for higher education,” said Sunil, a resident of Hasna Pur village of the same district.

Parents are reportedly planning to approach district magistrate to suggest opening schools in shifts so that their children are not left behind.

“There is ample space in the primary school building to hold classes in a batch of 15. Social distancing can be maintained and students will also not get left behind as classes are taking place in cities,” said Kiran, a resident of the village.

“For now, schools will have early summer vacation. By June end, we will have classes by Swayamprabha TV and Radio. Private schools are carrying out some classes online and a few schools like KVs (Kendriya Vidyalayas) are also doing e-classes to a minor extent,” said a senior HRD official who did not want to be named, According to the report.

The Print quoted Rashid Ali Warsi, president of National Development Foundation Trust in Hardoi as saying the district administration should make some arrangements that the future of these village students is not affected. At the same time, as the Modi government has said online education or mobile education should continue, then at least here they should start schools in shifts so that their classes are not impacted.

The local administration should also look into this. This is a village and we don’t have such digital infrastructure. Gaon mai logo ke paas keypad waale phone nahi hai toh android phone toh dur ki baat hai. They should make efforts to start schools that are shut, he added.

In a conversation with The Print UP’s Primary Education Minister Satish Dwivedi said, reopening schools was not an option until the pandemic situation was under control, but said council schools were using basic technology to aid learning.

“Around 30 to 35 lakh students of council schools are studying by joining WhatsApp group of teachers. Apart from this, Doordarshan Uttar Pradesh, All India Radio and other internet-based platforms are also being used,” he said.

“We will not give permission to open schools in any way until the situation is normal because we cannot compromise on the safety of children,” Dwivedi added.

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