To begin with, let us look at some statistics: 400 million Indians do not have access to the internet. Globally, only 55% of the world population have digital connectivity. More shockingly, 53% of the population in developing countries lack connectivity and 13% of the population in developed countries still have no access to the internet.
These numbers are shocking given that we live in a world of digital information. Moreover, since the pandemic, having digital access has been of vital importance since we were forced to take our whole lives online.
There are manifold ways to understand the meaning of digital divide but simply put, it is the disparity of access between the privileged and underprivileged with more diverse components like age, gender, location etc, coming into the picture.
For example, a student in an under-resourced community may not be able to afford high speed internet connection to support their online learning, so the lowest bandwidth of internet becomes the only feasible option whereas for privileged students, these issues rarely come into play. This disparity reduces the quality of education under-privileged students can garner.
Now to narrow it down, let us understand how digital divide can affect academia:
- With the pandemic calling for 100% connectivity in academia, students who cannot afford it will fall behind in their learning. Aside from the pandemic, lack of digital access to information produces students who have not been able to upgrade their knowledge.
- Parents of children from low-income families will have to bear huge costs of technological investments so that their children can continue learning. This makes digital information a luxury that they can avoid if they choose to do so.
- Private schools who have integrated technology in their classrooms will produce better-qualified students. That will deepen the opportunity divide between poor students and privileged ones.
Digital divide is all about facilitating access. It can be done without compromising quality at very effective prices. We know that for a fact because we have developed Class Saathi to override all these problems. At Class Saathi, we believe that education is a fundamental right and economic disparities should not stop students from accessing digital information.
Here’s how we have made it our mission to reduce the digital divide:
- Class Saathi’s classroom integration requires no additional internet installations. It can also function seamlessly without the use of electricity. Lack of electricity and internet access will stop playing truant with a student’s access to digital information.
- Our product does not require any infrastructure other than a mobile device that can run the app. We do not foster the need for schools and foundations to build additional structures to accommodate our product (for classroom solutions).
- All our solutions are fully aligned with the National Education Policy that aims at standardising education across all boards. Which means that students, regardless of their economic conditions, will have quality information at their fingertips, bridging the opportunity gap between the privileged and the underprivileged students.
- Our in-app quizzes are free to use and it offers remediation, in the form of a video explanation in areas that a student has not mastered yet. It is worth noting that these quizzes are designed by IIT-ians and so quality is also assured along with feasibility.
Since the pandemic, we have entered a stage where global policies on the education demand the complete digitisation of schools. We believe it is the right course of action.
However, we championed the cause of reducing the digital divide even before Covid-19 gave it its visibility. We have always operated with the core philosophy that the sheer brilliance of technology is for everybody to enjoy and assimilate, especially in the field of education. Keeping the core values in mind, we built a sustainable model that could tide over the problems the pandemic brought to the surface. We plan to upgrade and adapt till we have achieved 100% digital transformation.
If you’d like to join us on our journey of providing educational opportunities to every student, see what we have built at www.tag-hive.com, or reach out to us at [email protected] to discuss how we can work together.