– Reshma Ravishanker
Even as online classes have commenced in Karnataka for school going children, a survey by the department of public instruction has found that 37.8 lakh students have no access to the internet.
Karnataka’s education department had in June announced a set of guidelines for schools to follow while in-person classes are not being conducted. While online classes would be conducted for students with access to smartphones and the internet, schools have been asked to teach students through telephones, radio, and television facilities.
The department of public instruction conducted the survey following directions of the Karnataka high court to assess how many students between classes 1 and 10 had access to technology. On June 8, the high court in one of the hearings had submitted that 20 % of students did not have access to technology to be able to attain education online. However, the survey indicates that the figures are far higher.
The recent study studied facilities available with over 93 lakh students in the state. The report also found that 31.3 lakh students did not have access to digital devices like phones, tablets or laptops while 8.6 lakh did not have radio or television at home.
The study also found that 1.05 crore students enrolled for the academic year 2020-21. Of these, 79.33 lakh students have access to mobile phones of which 58.59 lakh own smartphone devices or tablets. 37.7 lakh students have no internet connection.
It may be recollected that in the past, some child rights activists raised the issue and asked the government to commence in-person classes as a lot of rural students were unable to access education on par with the urban rich.News, States