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Education and Social Environment: Online Classes and Secondary School Education in Rural Karnataka – isec

Education and Social Environment: Online Classes and Secondary School Education in Rural Karnataka

Education and Social Environment: Online Classes and Secondary School Education in Rural Karnataka

 

Sudhamani N, Anand Inbanathan and K G Gayathri Devi

 

Abstract

In the context of rural Karnataka, the intersection of education and social environment took centre stage with the advent of online classes in secondary schools. This paper examines the learning process and educational situation in the schools of rural Karnataka from 2020 to 2022, shedding light on the transformative impact resulting from the transition from conventional classroom learning to virtual modes during the Covid-19 pandemic induced lockdowns. With the educational institutions remaining shut for an extended period of 18 months, it is necessary to examine the experiences of students in rural areas, particularly their capacity to engage with education via online platforms. The paper examines the availability of devices among students and teachers to switch over to online learning, and the teachers’ knowledge level on the use of the online medium to teach students, and awareness about the guidelines regarding internet safety. The study also looked into the parents’ economic and educational backgrounds, to discern their capacity to buy the electronic devices, and also to monitor the students’ online classes. Parents’ loss of jobs during the lockdown had delayed the purchase of these devices, and they faced significant challenges for access to electricity and internet connectivity. In rural areas, the minimal exposure to online learning prior to the pandemic deepened the digital divide and disparities between urban and rural areas, as well as between affluent and underprivileged families.

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