Bridging the digital divide a priority, India’s Vice President declares

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Tuesday called for bridging the digital divide in India, which has become apparent following the spread of coronavirus in the country, which resulted in total closure of face to face learning in the country.

The vice president noted that inequalities in the country had put children from poor backgrounds at a disadvantage. Their parents were not able to afford the gadgets required for them to continue with their educaiton during education. He pointed out that bridging the digital divide in the country would require efforts from both the private sector and the government.

Bridging the digital divide in India

Naidu continued by saying bridging the digital divide must be addressed, even although it was a complex problem, he was confident that through cooperation, the country would be able to deliver. He stressed that by bridging the gap, they would make primary educaiton universal to every child in India, secondary educaiton would also be equitable across the country, and post-secondary education would be available for all students regardless of their backgrounds.

For students currently struggling with accessing online platforms during the lockdowns, Naidu said they needed to be helped and urged education technology companies to work with the government to ensure that help is available for these students.

He also noted the current economic situation in the country, where many people have been laid off from work due to coronavirus pandemic, making it impossible for parents to afford educational devices. He said they were working on making these devices more affordable and accessible for many parents who find themselves in such an economic disadvantage during the lockdown period.

Future of education in India

Naidu also reiterated the call made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi calling for online education to be made the mainline of education. He said this would make it more accessible to many students and highlighted his government’s efforts in bridging the digital divide that will bring about online learning as the main mode of learning in the country.

He noted that currently, students and teachers were using online resources for their education. He commended the efforts and urged teachers to play a bigger role during their online classes, such as being guides, coaches, motivators and friends of students during this period of the pandemic in the country.

 

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