ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles By COVID and Digital Divide

The Odd One is ‘Out’: Voices from Virtual Classrooms

This article is a response to the online classrooms initiated from April 2020 onwards in schools across the country after the declaration of the lockdown. As classes went live in some parts of the country and several schools prepped towards the new medium, voices and experiences emerged from the field to throw light on the odds. The article collects the voices of students, educators and parents largely from the cities of Delhi and Bengaluru. The narratives are to be seen against the background of the critique of auto-modernism and emergent technology-intensive social institutions in the wake of COVID-19. This perspective pieces together the issues of infrastructure inadequacy in technology and the exclusiveness of pedagogy, and charts the inability of the marginalised sections in exercising the fundamental right to education. This article also highlights that internet classrooms are temporary make-shift arrangements. 

Use of EdTech in Indian School Education during COVID-19

The pandemic has exposed inequity as an immediate concern. This article draws its insights on ground issues faced by schoolteachers from across the country in their efforts to connect with their students during phases of online teaching at a time of social distancing. By reflecting on these insights, we indicate some aspects that can be focused on for systematic strengthening by the government and other organisations in the coming months, for a relatively seamless and synchronous teaching–learning experience.

Of Access and Inclusivity

Can online education enable all students to participate in and benefit from it equally? Massive online education without addressing the huge access gap and disparities in digital infrastructure would not only exclude a vast majority of students from learning opportunities but also exacerbate the existing socio-economic disparities in educational opportunities.

Spectacle as a Response

The way Covid-19 pandemic is being understood and addressed makes it a spectacle in the Debordian sense, in which all the social relations are mediated through images and appearances. Where even the desire of a safe and healthy life is dealt not with dignity, and effective, accessible healthcare, but through virtual images. Such a spectacle, in turn, creates a world that would be connected more, while the people would live a fragmented life on which they will increasingly lose their control.

COVID-19 and Infectious Misinformation

In these times of pandemic, we are witnessing the continued dissemination of pseudoscientifi c misinformation about the disease as well as dubious claims of alternative cure. In some instances, such claims appear to be getting offi cial endorsements. Enabling people to identify unscientifi c claims and hoaxes, is the way forward to build rational immunity to halt the infectious spread of misinformation.