Pandemic: A Reminder of age old disparities

Bhubaneswar: The COVID- 19 pandemic has distraughted the education system all over the nation and across the globe. The schools and colleges have been shuttered up; the classed inside the classroom have been halted and shifted to virtual mode. The career opportunities are blocked for millions of young mass in the country. Various examinations have been cancelled and new formats of assessment have been introduced to evaluate the marks or grades of the students. As a result there seems an absurdity in the forthcoming career prospects of the youth.

The pandemic and the abrupt digitalisation of teaching learning method has called for an alienated environment for each as the students, parents as well as the teachers. There has always been an invincibly multiple disparity among the people of this country. The pandemic seems to have enlarged the gaps between certain class divisions, communities and the most vehemently the division between rural and urban.

Students from the remote villages have to face an immense amount of problems accessing and availing the facility of online classes due to the lack of proper or no internet service in the area. This problem is more persistent in the tribal dominated districts of the state. Students from these districts as Kalahandi, Kanadhamala,  Koraput , Nabarangpur, Rayagada etc. are the worst sufferers. As per the Odisha Economic Survey 2018 – 19, around d 11,000 out of 51, 311 villages in the state lack the mode connectivity Out of those 11, 000 villages, 10, 000 are under the radar of left wing e extremism.

Most of the students in these districts don’t have smart phones or only one phone at home. Therefore if there are more than one children studying in a family, it is evident that the preference would be given to the boy child for continuing his education. Here the gender disparity plays its course. The girl children are once again falling into the same frame by being dropped out from schools and colleges.