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27% Students Do Not Have Smartphones or Laptops to Attend Online Classes

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A recent survey conducted by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) has revealed that at least 27 percent of students do not have access to hardware resources such as smartphones or laptops to attend online classes. Almost 28 percent of students and parents say that power outage and power failure are significant hurdles that limit learning amidst the coronavirus pandemic.

The survey reportedly involved over 34,000 participants comprising of students, parents, teachers, and school principals from educational institutions across the country including Kendriya Vidyalayas, Navodaya Vidyalas, and CBSE-affiliated schools.

Students found Mathematics to be the most difficult subject to learn through online classes. The report points out that the subject has concepts that require ‘interaction, continuous support, and monitoring’. Science came next due to its practical nature. A few students found Social Science to be difficult too. Also, 17 percent of students said languages were difficult to be learned online.

The survey revealed that smartphones were the top medium through which students attended online classes. The second favorite option among students were laptops. Meanwhile, about 36 percent of students relied on textbooks and other books for learning.

Taking these findings into consideration, the Ministry of Education has formulated Students’ Learning Enhancement guidelines to help students learn better. As per PTI’s report, there are separate guidelines for three types of situations. The situations include students with no, limited, and sufficient resources.

“The guidelines will help children, who do not have digital resources to get learning opportunities at their homes, with their teachers or volunteers. Apart from this, it will also help in our efforts to overcome the learning deficiencies of all those students who are learning at home through various alternative ways using radio, television, or smartphone,” said Union Minister of Education, Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank.

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