With the increase of internet availability in India, the digital divide is narrowing. Online learning is becoming a more viable option for many across India. Although, there remain some challenges.
COVID-19’s Effects on Online Learning in India
When the pandemic hit, it revealed the areas of weakness – schools without computers, families without internet at home, and the lack of supplemental materials that students could take home. The effects of COVID-19 have made internet accessibility a necessity. In a study between 2019 and 2020, before COVID-19 affected the globe, the number of internet users in India grew by 128 million, by 23%. Only 50% of the country had internet access in the past.
Internet availability numbers continue to grow because of necessity. By March 2021, roughly 560 million people have had access to and are using the internet. As the country’s market continues to emerge, there’s a projection of 636 million users by the end of 2021. That’s an increase of 76 million in less than a year.
E-Learning Continues to Grow
During the lockdown, some of the most prestigious universities, such as Harvard, Stanford, and Princeton, released short courses for free to gain different competencies surrounding digital literacy. Udemy, Inc. is committed to offering free skill-based courses to aid with digital literacy and create marketable competencies for individuals looking to expand their knowledge in their fields.
As internet accessibility grows across the country, more students in lower-socioeconomic homes have access to better education and quality instruction. Online learning levels the playing field. While there’s a significant increase, more access means more inclusion because of affordable online learning. It’s even becoming a more legitimate form of education. Affordability creates opportunities that some have never had before.
Our Vision for Online Learning and Bridging the Digital Divide
ConnectEd is a technology education company that seeks to deliver high-quality digital education to the mass market in India through providing digital learning solutions to all demographics. Bloom India, our non-profit arm, uses ConnectEd solutions to bring quality education to many. We seek to target those who don’t have proper access to technology to close the digital divide gap.
One example of Bloom India stepping into this gap to bridge the divide is providing our schools with the necessary ed-tech. Our primary school only had old desktop computers shared among both teachers and students before. So the aid of Bloom India provided laptops, tablets, and internet access for the first time. As a result, students from 7th to 10th grade could thrive and pass exams.
Closing the digital divide is one of the most effective ways to see inclusion happen throughout India. See how Bloom India is working to see this happen more and more. So will you make a difference?
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