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Coronavirus impact | Education dreams fade for millions in digitally divided India

The coronavirus pandemic that forced people into their homes and forced schools and colleges to move to virtual classes has edged education dreams with conditions aplenty – a computer or at least a smartphone, proper internet connectivity and uninterrupted power supply.

August 11, 2020 / 04:27 PM IST

The digital divide stretches long and deep across the expanse of India, further separating the haves from the have-nots and the tech-empowered from the tech-deprived with millions of children struggling to keep up with the challenges of online classes.

The coronavirus pandemic that forced people into their homes and forced schools and colleges to move to virtual classes has edged education dreams with conditions aplenty – a computer or at least a smartphone, proper internet connectivity and uninterrupted power supply.

The education playing field, never really level, is now potholed and bumpy as students, and their teachers, in cities, towns and villages scramble to cope with the demands of the times.

Children in a small settlement in the floodplains of the Yamuna along the Delhi-Noida border, for instance, have never had it easy. They would cross the river in a boat to reach school, just minutes away from the bright lights of the national capital and its suburb.