As the country completes a fortnight of lockdown imposed to contain COVID 19 pandemic, the closure of educational institutions has significantly affected students, especially those belonging to the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) of the society. The majority of EWS students are also unable to explore online learning resources due to lack of e-learning know-how and unavailability of required infrastructure including laptops, tablets, smartphone and internet.
In India, more than 15 lakh institutions are closed and about 25 crore of school students are not able to go to their schools. Out of these 25 crore students, about 80 per cent fall in EWS category.
Buddy4Study.com, India’s largest student empowerment platform, conducted a survey of school students across the country to understand the impact of ongoing lockdown on their studies and the challenges they are facing towards exploring alternate ways of learning. The survey was conducted in both online and offline. While the survey response was collected from 2000 students online, as many as 300 students responded offline through telephone calls.
[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Manjeet Singh, CEO, Buddy4Study.com, said, “As we advocate the shift in learning methods in the changing scenario, the challenges for Economically Disadvantaged Section of EWS students in India have only increased as they are neither equipped nor hand-held in pursuing online learning programmes.”[/perfectpullquote]
Our survey aimed to understand the ground level scenario and the results have strengthened our resolve for helping students towards alternative methods of learning, he said, adding, majority of the students need support towards online learning.
Buddy4Study.com student survey: Key findings
- More than 75% students reported severe impact on their education due to COVID 19 crisis. 11 % reported moderate impact and 7 % reported low impact. Rest 7% of students said it had not impacted their studies
- More than 86% student preferred online study options amid the continuing lockdown in the country
- More than 75% of students said they found it difficult to pursue an online course as they have never done it before
- About 79% students said they were uncomfortable with online learning solutions
- About 90% students mentioned that they needed handholding to make a shift towards online learning and another 30% said they would also require the trainer to pursue online learning
- More than 80% students specified that they would need weekly/monthly doubt clearing sessions to become comfortable with online learning.
The government schools and majority of low-cost private institutions, where these EWS students pursue regular programmes, still lack the necessary technology infrastructure and support system for an online teaching-learning process. To help these students, Buddy4Study.com is developing a free online learning resource for students of class 9-12. The platform is also partnering with corporates to enable 10,000 EWS students with the necessary infrastructure to pursue the online programme.
As majority of the students surveyed showed an inclination for online learning, they also admitted to multiple barriers that they face towards the transition. As per the survey results, as much as 30% students didn’t have the infrastructure to pursue online learning. Further, about 35% students were still unaware of the right online courses they can opt for.
[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Buddy4Study.com COO Ankur Dhawan said, “Though we have progressed a lot in terms of internet penetration and data consumption, the keys advantages are yet to reach the economically weaker section of the society. Our survey emphasises the need to support students from EWS with the online learning infrastructure and hand-holding.”[/perfectpullquote]
He said that the online learning support system being developed by Buddy4Study is a step towards helping these EWS students.