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Need For Hybrid Learning In Rural India

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Vijay Garg

Education is a primary right of every child, whether he/she is from a high-profile background or village area, writes Sanjiv Kadam facebook sharing buttontwitter sharing buttonlinkedin sharing buttonemail sharing buttonprint sharing button Need for hybrid learning in rural India
With schools being shut down across the globe due to the pandemic, the education system has been affected drastically. This has led to a rise in e-learning or blended learning. While there are certain benefits to this, there are numerous challenges related to online education as well, especially in the rural backdrop. Even though the education system in India is the largest after China, quality education in the rural and village areas remains one of the biggest challenges. Numerous studies have demonstrated the gap between rural and urban education.
Issues being faced
As per a survey report titled ‘Annual Status of Education Report’ (ASER), 70% of students in class V and 60% of students in class VIII from rural schools cannot do simple basic division. In addition, 56% of class V students and 31% of class VIII students from villages cannot read class II textbooks. Also, 57% of rural and village Indian schools have only three or even fewer teachers.
The disparity of wealth, poor infrastructure, paucity of trained and skilled teachers, student-teacher ratio, inadequate teaching material, lack of availability of electricity, and limited or no access to learning material are amongst the challenges faced by Indian rural schools.
While education in urban areas is evolving with newer teaching techniques, rural areas continue to follow the traditional method of blackboard teaching. There is an urgent need for reinvention in the education structure in rural areas that would provide students with the option of distance learning.
The rapid influx of technology in the education system amidst the pandemic has given rise to a new era where the traditional methods of teaching should be revamped and enhanced by introducing and adopting newer teaching techniques.
Exploring new model It is important to work towards providing education to children in rural India, improve learning outcomes, reduce the school dropout rate, reduce child labour, and provide an intervention to disrupt the vicious cycle of poverty. All of this can be achieved through hybrid or blended learning.
There are various benefits associated with hybrid learning, including a combination of old teaching methodologies and digital educational tools. Students can experience a teacher's conventional methods, which are augmented by digital audio-visual content that incorporates animations, videos, illustrations, and graphics. This makes understanding basic concepts and fundamentals easier, ensures enhanced retention and improves student performance.
From providing children with access to digital education in rural areas, enabling teachers to deliver information remotely, and providing flexibility to choose how one can learn; hybrid or blended learning helps break away from the many barriers that have traditionally existed in education in the rural pockets of India. Various solutions
A digital education solution that provides hybrid learning and replicates a physical classroom is the need of the hour. An important factor to keep in mind while implementing the hybrid learning approach is to ensure that the quality of the learning experience is the same as in-class training.
Social innovations in the form of solar-based digital education have enabled digital classrooms in remote areas in the absence of electricity. While solar power based digital education is a potent technology combination, the introduction of projector-based virtual classrooms is helping provide safe distance education to children. While there are multiple benefits of digital education, lack of funds is a major barrier in introducing it in rural areas. These barriers can be eliminated when all stakeholders join hands to provide affordable and accessible e-Learning solutions to augment the education system in rural India. These tools paired with up skilling teachers by providing them with teacher-training programmes on online and technology-based education would contribute to the expansion of digital learning in rural India.
     —The Hawk Features