By | Abhishek R | Director and Head of Sustainability, CSR and D&I at Brillio
India is home to the largest population of children globally, with an estimated 43 crores/ 430 million children in the age group of 0-18 years in the country, and the ratio of rural-urban enrollment in schools is a massive 7:5. ( https://www.forbesindia.com/blog/education/digital-education-among-students-in-rural-areas/)
The current situation of pandemic and its corresponding lockdown leads to the shutdown of schools. Education for the students went to a standstill, and teachers could not connect with the students. For Govt school, students whose parents are daily wage workers are worst affected by lockdown, and engaging their students in learning at home is difficult. So, we need to develop a plan to bring classrooms to the home digitally and involve parents apart from teachers and students as an essential stakeholder in the process of learning. I think the three major things to look at in digital education are “Connect, Content, and Collaborate.”
We can separate the students into three categories – students who have smartphones and good internet facilities, students who have regular phones, and students who do not have access to the phone.
For digital education to work, CSR organizations need first to empower Govt. School teachers digitally. Then we need to establish a communication platform (WhatsApp groups) to bring students, parents, and teachers into a single platform. This will pave the way for facilitating online tutoring, remedial classes, Fun sessions, and weekly touchpoints with teachers and employee volunteers. The availability and affordability of quality content for digital education play a significant role. There are many contents available in the market, but I think it is time for us to create a single open-source repository with quality and engaging content. I must congratulate the central government for taking the DIKSHA (Digital Infrastructure for Knowledge Sharing). The India report on Digital Education June 2020 states that as of July 2020, it is estimated that over 60 crores QR coded Energized Textbooks (ETBs) are being printed this year, with more than 30 crore content plays, and 200 crore page hits already on DIKSHA.