It’s been 6-months that COVID-19 pandemic has put the nation-wide activities on a halt. And, studies show that the virus spread still has to reach its peak. Due to Covid-19, the social activities based on direct interaction are largely on a standstill the digital economy constructed through the internet has become the mainstay of the global social and economic interactions- be it business or education. Undeniably the lockdown created an unpredicted pressure on the system to succour the education of nearly 300 million children across 1.4 million schools in the country. The concept of education changed overnight and in these times of crisis, digital learning has emerged as an indispensable resource for education.
But there is a huge divide on access to this technology. According to the World Bank, only 34 of every 100 Indians have access to the internet meaning nearly 7 of every 10 Indian is out of the digital world. It is necessary to arrest this at this point or a large section of our society will be left behind.
There is also a gender divide. The Mobile Gender Gap Report 2020 released in March by GSMA, an association of industry organization representing interests of mobile network operators worldwide say that while 79% of men own a mobile phone in the country, the number for women is 63%.
The gender gap in mobile internet users is a huge 50%, it states. Access to phones and the internet is not just an economic factor but also social and cultural. If one family has just one phone, there is a good chance that the wife or the daughter will be the last one to use it.
The foremost the expectation is to bring the rural girl child of these villages into the mainstream of the education system by providing them digital education. Apart from not having access to the internet and smartphone, the majority of these girls come from families that themselves lack education. Disruption of schools has completely cut them off from the education system.