Future Of Differently Abled Students In Limbo With Introduction Of Online Classes: Survey
Bhubaneswar: With coronavirus spreading its tentacles far and wide across the globe, education sector has suffered a major-hit due to the pandemic. Many educational institutes are still shut fearing further spread of the disease.
In the wake of COVID-19 lockdown, the educational institutes are introducing online classes. But, without proper tools and plans, the students with disabilities are believed to suffer the most, said Swabhiman, a community-based organisation after conducting a series of surveys.
Another report published by the Centre For Advocacy and Research (CFAR) also points towards the adverse effect of online studies for divyang students.
The report by Swabhiman said that students with disabilities are at risk of dropping out of school because of not being able to cope with the sudden switch to the online medium of teaching.
The survey report revealed that only 56.5 per cent of students are “struggling yet attending classes” irregularly while 77 per cent of students said they will not be able to cope and fall behind in learning due to their inability to access distance learning methods.
The parents of 86 per cent students said they don’t know how to use technology. Around 81 per cent of teachers said they don’t have accessible educational material with them. The teachers also reported that 64 per cent of students don’t have smartphones or computers at home.
As many as 67 per cent of students said they needed tabs or computers or comparable devices for online education. Around 74 per cent of them said they needed data or Wi-fi support for educational purposes while 61 per cent expressed a need for scribes, escorts, readers and attendants.
According to a UNESCO report released in 2019, 75% of children with disability at age 5 did not enter school, 25% of them between 5 and 19 years were not in any school or educational institution.
With promotion to higher classes, students continued to drop out. Fewer girls than disabled boys attended school, while many of them preferred special schools run by the National Institute of Special Schooling over regular schools.