Ground Report | New Delhi: International Day of Education; In 2018, the United Nations announced January 24, as the International Day of Education to promote the role education plays in our lives in bringing peace and prospering development. Today, we are celebrating the 4th International Education Day.
Over the period of time, we have experienced transformational shifts in our lives due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The education system is transforming, who thought classes would be shifted completely online, the life of the students have gone downhill as well as uphill.
Importance of Education
Education is considered to be a tool to prosper growth, but even today this tool cannot be accessed equally due to the imbalance the pandemic has brought in the lives of the people. Due to the sudden shift in the means of education, there are so many students that don’t have access to this online education because of not having the facilities such as the internet and smartphones or the required gadgets.
In many third world countries, the students were deprived of these basic amenities which further led especially the school students to not being able to access the online mode. This gap has created a gap amid this pandemic and it is high time to bring reforms in educational infrastructure and not consider it as a business.
Boon or a Bane?
This shift has resulted in fewer interactions between students and teachers, students have become lazier, and the overall development of the child also gets hampered as they are deprived of the opportunities they could’ve availed themselves in the social setting. The pandemic has been proven as both a boon or a bane if, on the one hand, the pandemic has snatched facilities from us but on the other hand, it has further provided ample opportunities to everyone. Like a coin, even the pandemic has two sides to it. Numerous students have upskilled themselves and gained multiple skills by pursuing various courses online such as coding, programming. Even some started their own small businesses, some mastered in paintings while some started selling multiple things like accessories, clothes etc.
If we look at the other side of the coin, those who belong to the villages or the ones living in the outskirts whose families do not have the adequate online infrastructure, or those who had to walk for miles to other villages to take the classes due to poor internet connectivity. If we take the example of Kashmir, the internet connectivity has always been a disturbing factor due to the tensions in the city and around the border; some places do not even have a required network since independence, the college students had to face problems while uploading their answer scripts during their exams. Some students had to walk miles away from their places to study due to poor internet connectivity in their village. Even if we talk about the below poverty line, children living in slums or outskirts couldn’t attend the classes because they couldn’t afford smartphones or stable internet plans due to high costs. Also many students had to drop out of the institutions due to unbalanced financial situations within their families as well as fees hype.
It is high time to understand the seriousness of the matter and take the necessary action. Providing Quality Education is also a part of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, the authorities must ensure that equal access to education must be given to all as it will further help in eradicating poverty. It is the need of the hour, to not consider education as a business but a social responsibility that promotes lifelong learning opportunities for all.
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