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HP e-classes are doing well: The Tribune India


WITH good scores on many indicators, the Himachal Pradesh Schools Report Card, according to the State of Education (Rural) Annual Report, 2021, reflects well the state’s response to overcome challenges and the disruptions triggered by the pandemic. Responding to the key demand for online schooling, the State has put in place assets to guarantee a smartphone in almost all households (95.6% against 67.6% nationally). In this context, other states could learn a lesson or two from HP’s heartwarming “Donate a Device” initiative. Equally impressive are the results according to which 99.4% of children in Himachal villages are enrolled in school (compared to 95.4% nationally) and that almost all of them have textbooks.

However, while this is laudable, it is not enough for the real test, which is whether these arrangements translated into schoolchildren’s learning outcomes on both academic and cognitive accounts. While the national assessment survey designed to shed light on this aspect is eagerly awaited, there are many fundamental shortcomings requiring special attention in mastering the game. remote and hilly areas, not be solved, the phone in the child’s hand will not be used for online learning. The fact that many more HP children are using physical classes, according to ASER, is a sure sign of the lack of reliable telecom connectivity and other factors such as parents’ literacy levels.

Additionally, the online classroom can be more effective if teachers are regularly trained and upgraded in more interesting ways to engage with their students in a tech-savvy setting. Although schools are moving towards offline courses, the digital learning mode is unlikely to go away completely. With both educators and students introduced to the vast and exciting potential of the myriad of online tools, the hybrid model is emerging as the future form of education. This again raises the question of the huge inequalities and the digital divide in the country. There is still a long way to go before every child receives optimal benefits.