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Relief for EWS students, pvt schools to provide free equipment and internet facility, observes Delhi HC

By Sushil Batra/ Joymala Bagchi (ANI) | Updated: Sep 18, 2020 18:01 IST

New Delhi [India], September 18 (ANI): Children from the economically weaker sections are entitled to free equipment and internet facility if private schools decide to run online classes through video conference, the Delhi high court stated on Friday.
The Delhi High Court issued this direction for private schools and Kendriya Vidyalayas in a PIL filed by Justice for All.
"The digital divide in our country is a known fact and is indeed interconnected with economic disparity," observed the court.
The inequality in access to technology widens such divide. In this scenario, conducting classes exclusively through video conferencing mode inevitably leads to the creation of a huge gap in the education provided to the haves, versus the have-nots added court.
Alok Sharma a student of ninth standard staying in a slum area in eastern Delhi said, "I am very happy with this order. I do not have a laptop, neither internet so attending classes regularly becomes a struggle for me. With school providing everything, it will be really helpful for me and my sister."
The parents of Alok are elated after hearing this order. For them, the struggle to provide education to both their children has come to an end.
Another single parent, Sharmistha Nag, 37, who used to work in a beauty parlour and lost her job following the pandemic welcomes the order but also raised a concern, "Hope the school my son is studying follows the direction. It will be a big relief to many like me who are economically not strong."
This imbalance in imparting education due to the non-availability of gadgets, internet connectivity and modes of access may push less-fortunate children outside the education system altogether.
A survey was been conducted by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) recently to understand the online learning situation of school students amid COVID-19 pandemic.
Moreover, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Education has held several consultations with the states and UTs at various levels and taken many initiatives to ensure that the school going students don't lag behind in their studies during COVID-19 pandemic.
The court also directed to constitute a committee of three members involving centre, Delhi government and a member of school's association committee to ensure uniformity as well as to expedite and streamline the process of identification and supply of gadgets/equipment to EWS/DG students. (ANI)