Bridging the Digital Divide
The global pandemic has made online classes the new norm in India, much like the rest of the world. But with income disparities, not everyone has access to the same resources in remote parts of the country. However, small steps to bridge the digital divide are helping poor students cope with their studies as schools remain shut. Nazima, a nine-year-old girl from Turtuk, Ladakh, has a digital solution in the form of her newfound teacher in Hyderabad, a city 2800 km away, through Project Parwaaz. Vaishnavi, her 17-year-old teacher from Hyderabad, teaches the fourth-grader Nazima over audio phone calls and bridges the gap by teaching her a school curriculum that she has been missing because of the lockdown and pandemic. A school run for the underprivileged students in the Yamuna Khadar area in outer Delhi is bridging the digital gap by teaching and training poor students. The school functioning under a flyover is the new hope for students without smartphones and the internet. A local pastor in Tsuruhu, Nagaland, found a digital solution for the students who had to appear for online examinations in the lockdown – the only internet-connected spot in the middle of a dense forest in Northeast India. With just three smartphones in the entire village, volunteers from the students’ union took turns to use the phones while preparing the kids for the online classes and exams. The children have now taken to studying at the spot and appearing for examinations.