As I was reading my Twitter timeline today, I read very familiar news again:
A 19 year old student of LSR killed herself in Telangana today because her mechanic father couldn’t afford to buy her a laptop or a smartphone for her online classes. She was a class topper and wanted to become a civil servant.
We all might have read similar types of news articles in the last few months. Pandemic has hit our country and almost broke so many people. For some mobiles, laptops are just a means of fun and entertainment but for some, it has become a necessity. Education is on mobile now. Fair enough that we can’t risk thousands of students coming to the school and colleges amidst this global pandemic which till today we haven’t got any relief from. We don’t have vaccines and frankly, we don’t even know when we will get one.
But amidst all of this, education institutions are running and delivering education through online mediums. But a lot of students are there in our country who can’t afford to buy a smartphone/laptop for their education. There are many NGOs and some good people helping such students by giving them smartphones (old/new) but in a country of 130 crore people, it is very much impossible to reach out to every individual. There are many news articles in the last few months about students committing suicide because their parents can’t afford smartphones/laptops for their education. It is extremely disheartening and sad.
These are just a few of the top search which I got. But there are plenty of such articles and I am sure there will be plenty more which are not even reported. This is a major issue. What we can do in this scenario?
Few of the state governments tried to open schools and colleges but just after that followed the news of an increase in covid cases among students. Obviously, amidst all this, we can’t let thousands of kids/students gather at the same place. Having multiple batches will also be difficult as teachers are limited.
The best solution which I think is:
Open the schools for those who can’t afford smartphones/laptops. Other students can attend school/college online. Make schools and colleges equipped with a proper internet connection. Teachers can teach in the classroom with few students and others can also learn joining online.
Definitely, this is not very simple to implement a solution but in the current scenario, I think this is the best thing Government can do to ensure that no student will miss their education and feel left out. We promised education for all and we have to make sure it reaches everyone seeking it.
I am sure there will be more fantastic solutions as well if you come up with something like that – then let me know in the comments section. I will try to put your words on the social media and get some light on it.
& let’s all pray for all those students who left us because of the failure that we haven’t reached out to them soon and let’s hope that no other student commits suicides.