Challenges of the Education System of Rural India and Role of Technology to overcome IT
Education is heavily reliant on government-run or aided institutions and non-governmental organizations for the vast majority of the people living in rural regions. However, rural regions continue to confront several challenges that have a direct influence on the country’s literacy rate. Digital learning is emphasized in the National Education Policy 2020 as an alternative to the traditional classroom paradigm, however, implementing it in rural India would be difficult.
India is a 1.3-billion-person country with 67 percent of the population living in rural areas. There are around 196 million primary school-aged students in the United States, with 146 million of them enrolled in rural schools. The good news is that virtually all of these children are enrolled in school; in rural India, enrollment of children aged 5 to 14 has exceeded 95 percent.
The challenges are:
- Financial issues: Children are entitled to free education until they reach the age of fourteen, after which they are no longer covered by the RTE. Rural families are constantly financially strained for a variety of reasons. For them, education for their children takes a back seat, and they are compelled to engage in income-generating activities to survive. One of the causes for poor secondary and higher school enrollment is this. According to the MHRD’s education data from 2018, just 43.1 percent of pupils enroll in senior secondary school and 14.2 percent enroll in higher education in India.
- Lack of guidance: Students in smaller towns have a lot of potentials and are eager to learn, but they don’t have access to the proper mentors. This is necessary not just for the kids, but also for their parents.
- Gender inequality: Girls are not permitted to attend school in some areas. Or, if it is permitted, only up to a particular age. They are not permitted to leave their community in pursuit of higher education or better employment opportunities.
- Lack of infrastructure and faculty: Children have limited or no access to essential learning resources such as well-equipped classrooms, computers, labs, and playgrounds, among other things, due to a lack of infrastructure and staff.
- Poor foundation skills or learning outcomes: Although rural children attend school, the level of education they get is insufficient. Their reading and arithmetic skills are inadequate. According to ASER 2018 data, just 73 percent of eighth-grade pupils can read a text at the second-grade level. Only 44% of eighth-grade students can answer a fundamental math problem. In grade VIII, children are expected to be masters of fundamental skills.
- Sports training and equipment: As we all know, sports may have a direct influence on fitness, which in turn can hurt learning. Unfortunately, adequate sports coaching and equipment are not accessible in rural schools.
- After-school activities: It is critical to include kids in activities that will improve their learning and quality of life. Students in metropolitan regions participate in music, dance, and foreign language programs after school, whereas students in rural areas just walk the countryside and indulge in useless activities.
- Digital literacy: Improving digital literacy in rural students is difficult due to little or no access to digital devices, particularly computer learning.
- English communication: The English language is becoming more important every day, even though the majority of schools in rural regions are still taught in the vernacular. As a result, English speaking and writing are given less weight. This results in poor English communication and, as a result, a lack of enthusiasm for science in higher education.
- Long-distance schools: In India, there are just 1.39 lakh secondary and 1.1 lakh senior secondary schools that are accredited. The majority of them are in a hamlet with a bigger population or in a taluka. As a result, children must travel across vast distances to attend school.
- Sanitation: Toilets at rural schools are a constant source of debate, particularly among girls. Overall, school cleanliness is a serious issue that influences students’ health. Toilets that are easily accessible and clean are especially crucial for female students. According to the ASER 2018 study, just 66.4 percent of schools have functioning restrooms for girls.
While most of these areas will require transformational changes over time, technology can assist accelerate the process. E-learning platforms may now be easily accessed in remote regions, thanks to the growing usage of cell phones. Many are also reasonably priced. This innovative method of education may be made appealing to youngsters. Courses from the greatest instructors, e-libraries with research materials and professors will all be instantly available. Vulnerabilities can be addressed, such as a lack of quality material and training procedures. Integration of technology and education offers a lot of promise in these unusual times.