27% central school students have no access to smartphones, laptops for online classes NCERT survey

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At least 27 per cent students do not have access to smartphones or laptops to attend online classes, while 28 per cent students and parents believe intermittent or lack of electricity is one of the major concerns hindering teaching-learning, according to a survey by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT)

27% central school students have no access to smartphones

 At least 27 per cent students do not have access to smartphones or laptops to attend online classes, while 28 per cent students and parents believe intermittent or lack of electricity is one of the major concerns hindering teaching-learning, according to a survey by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT).

The NCERT survey with over 34,000 participants, including students, parents, teachers and school principals from Kendriya Vidyalayas, Navodyaya Vidyalas and CBSE affiliated schools, found that lack of knowledge of using devices for effective educational purposes and teachers not being well-versed with online teaching methodologies caused hindrance in the learning process.

According to the findings shared by the Education Ministry, as part of its ‘Students Learning Enhancement Guidelines’, about 33 per cent felt online learning was either “difficult” or “burdensome”.

“Approximately 27 per cent of the students mentioned the non-availability of smartphones and laptops. The maximum number of stakeholders have opted for mobile phones as a medium for teaching-learning during the COVID-19 period,” the survey by the NNCERT survey said.

About 36 per cent of the students used the textbooks and other books available with them. Laptops were the second most favoured option amongst teachers and principals. Television and radio were the least utilized devices for the teaching-learning in the pandemic situation. The absence of enriched interaction between the teacher and the students was one of the reasons as identified by the stakeholders,” it added.

The survey noted that almost all of the responsive states use physical (non-digital) mechanisms to track the progress of learners with the majority of them either practising home visit by teachers or systematic parental guidance via phone calls.

“About half of the students stated that they did not have the school textbooks. Although the e-textbooks are available on NCERT website and DIKSHA, the probable reasons behind this feedback are that students are used to studying from the hardcopy of the textbooks, there is lack of awareness regarding the availability of the e-textbook and paucity of devices with students and teachers,” it said.

The majority of the stakeholders pointed out that mathematics as a subject was difficult to learn via online medium.

“Since, mathematics contains a number of concepts which require interaction, continuous support, monitoring from the teacher and these aspects were lacking in the online mode of teaching.

“Next to Mathematics, Science was identified as the subject of concern since it contains several concepts and practical experiments which could only be done in the laboratory under the supervision of the teacher. A few stakeholders also found Social Science as a difficult subject to grasp through online classes,” the survey said.

It said that around 17% of students identified languages as being a difficult subject to learn through online medium. “Many students and parents felt the need for Physical Education classes through online mode, as physical fitness is the need of the hour to combat this pandemic. Arts 

Based on the NCERT survey findings, the Ministry of Education has formulated Students’ Learning Enhancement Guidelines.

“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,” Union Minister of Education, Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ said.

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