The most common barrier for students who could not access online learning was the lack of digital skills among parents.(Waseem Andrabi/HT file photo)
The most common barrier for students who could not access online learning was the lack of digital skills among parents.(Waseem Andrabi/HT file photo)

‘Only 57% Maharashtra students have internet connectivity’

A total of 737 schools and 6,855 students were interviewed for the study. The government had selected two blocks from each district – those with the highest and the lowest literacy rates – for the survey. While almost 59.8% of students had access to a smartphone, only about 57% had internet connectivity.
By Ankita Bhatkhande | Hindustan Times, Mumbai
UPDATED ON JUL 20, 2020 11:08 AM IST

Lack of digital skills among parents, no access to smartphones, poor internet connectivity, and inability to recharge phones are some of the reasons why nearly half the students in the state have poor or no access to online education. The findings are a part of a survey conducted by the Maharashtra State Council of Educational Research and Training (MSCERT) in association with the United Nations International Children’s Fund (UNICEF) before the new academic year began on June 15.

A total of 737 schools and 6,855 students were interviewed for the study. The government had selected two blocks from each district – those with the highest and the lowest literacy rates – for the survey. While almost 59.8% of students had access to a smartphone, only about 57% had internet connectivity. Less than 1% of the total students surveyed had access to desktops and laptops.

Dinkar Patil, director, MSCERT, said, “The survey was conducted to identify the hurdles that needed to be addressed before schools could reopen online. Efforts are now being taken to reach out to students through multiple mediums. After schools reopened online, we started conducting another leg of the survey to understand how students are managing to learn over the last one month.”

The most common barrier for students who could not access online learning was the lack of digital skills among parents. Nearly 72% of the 3,391 students who had such issues, claimed this was a problem for them. Lack of access to smartphones (66.4%); no internet (52.3%); issues with connectivity (35.2%), and lack of family support (22.6%) were other major hurdles when it came to online learning. Nearly 8.5% of students were engaged in supporting their families through some type of unpaid work.

Issues concerning access were seen more in marginalised and socially-backward groups. As opposed to 59% of students from the general category who could access learning resources of the education department, only 40.5% of students from the scheduled tribes and 46.2% from the nomadic tribes could use them.

Vanita Mate, who has two children, both studying at a Mumbai-based school in Class 4 and Class 6, respectively, moved to her hometown Mangaon in Raigad district, when the lockdown began. She doesn’t have enough money to recharge her phone to call people, let alone get a data pack. “I want my children to learn but I cannot afford to pay for internet. Also, we have very poor network in our village,” she said.

Even in a metropolitan city like Mumbai, several parents said they were struggling to take care of the expenses that come with online learning. Pushpa Sharma, who works as a domestic help, said, “My son has online classes for two hours daily, and the internet pack we got is not sufficient even for a week. This is becoming a big hassle and we do not know how to afford it.”

Anagha Madhukar, the principal of Ahilyadevi Holkar Secondary School, which is run by the Pune Municipal Corporation and iTeach Schools, said that a student requires 1-1.5GB data daily for a four-hour online class. “This means a monthly investment of 200 to 250. Over the last few months, we are happy to see that a lot of parents have been able to keep aside some money for the purpose. Even children were saving for their recharges,” she said.

Balu Bhoyar, principal, Karamveer Vidyalaya in Chandrapur, said that with most students not having access to technology, the only way to continue their education is through physical classes. “We have started sending teachers to localities, where small groups of students can be taught daily. This is safe and also helps in continuous learning for such students,” he said.

Kannan Moudgalya, Erach and Meheroo Mehta Advanced Education Technology chair professor, IIT-Bombay, said that when it comes to access, one needs to understand that it is of two kinds. “It includes access to fast internet, which is required to see live videos, and slow internet, with which one can download videos and watch later. The first type of internet has limited reach, and several IIT students, too, do not have access to it, let alone school students from low-income families. For government schools, the second kind of access can be put to good use,” he said.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close
A worker sanitises a classroom at a college in Mumbai. (HT FILE)
A worker sanitises a classroom at a college in Mumbai. (HT FILE)

Pandemic effect: Maharashtra issues guidelines to tackle learning losses

By Ankita Bhatkhande, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON FEB 28, 2021 12:00 AM IST
With schools in the state remaining shut for nearly 10 months due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Maharashtra education department has issued guidelines for addressing concerns about loss of learning over these months.
Close
Healthcare worker collects swab samples of Govandi residents. (Pratik Chorge/HT Photo)
Healthcare worker collects swab samples of Govandi residents. (Pratik Chorge/HT Photo)

RT-PCR samples now tested at Mumbai airport

By Neha LM Tripathi, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON FEB 28, 2021 12:00 AM IST
Passengers undergoing the Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) tests at Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) may be able to get their tests results quicker
Close
Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai. (HT FILE)
Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai. (HT FILE)

Covid-19 impact: Social sciences students stare at bleak placement season

By Priyanka Sahoo, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 11:55 PM IST
Students from social sciences courses in the city are facing a bleak placement season this year owing to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Close
Mumbai: 3 YouTubers held for uploading obscene videos, molesting girls
Mumbai: 3 YouTubers held for uploading obscene videos, molesting girls

Mumbai: 3 YouTubers held for uploading obscene videos, molesting girls

By Vijay Kumar Yadav, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 11:53 PM IST
City cyber police has arrested three YouTubers for allegedly creating obscene and vulgar prank videos in public places in Mumbai
Close
Bombay high court. (HT FILE)
Bombay high court. (HT FILE)

Bombay HC refuses 6-year-old’s custody to his ‘poor’ biological parents

By Kanchan Chaudhari, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 11:52 PM IST
The Nagpur bench of the Bombay high court (HC) on Friday upheld a family court order, refusing to grant custody of a six-year-old boy to his poor biological parents, observing that the interests of the child will be best served by continuing him with his rich adoptive parents, a childless couple from Nagpur.
Close
The plan is to have barges that will allow citizens to sail around Powai lake that is home to several crocodiles. (Pratik Chorge/HT Photo)
The plan is to have barges that will allow citizens to sail around Powai lake that is home to several crocodiles. (Pratik Chorge/HT Photo)

MTDC plans crocodile safari in Powai lake, seeks Mumbai civic body nod

By Mehul R Thakkar, Mumbai
UPDATED ON FEB 27, 2021 11:51 PM IST
As part of its initiative to boost tourism in the city, the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) has sought a nod by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to start crocodile safari boating in Powai lake
Close
HT Image
HT Image

Experts condemn appointment of RSS affiliate for implementation of NEP

By Priyanka Sahoo, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 11:49 PM IST
Scientists and researchers from various institutes have raised objections over the decision of the ministry of education to appoint Bharatiya Shikshan Mandal to a Niti Aayog committee for implementation of the National Education Policy (NEP).
Close
A BMC marshal penalizes a commuter for violation of Covid-19 protocol at Dadar Market. (Satish Bate/HT Photo)
A BMC marshal penalizes a commuter for violation of Covid-19 protocol at Dadar Market. (Satish Bate/HT Photo)

Mumbai: BMC files police complaint against 3 more marriage halls for flouting Covid-19 rules

By Eeshanpriya MS, Mumbai
UPDATED ON FEB 27, 2021 11:48 PM IST
Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Friday night lodged a police complaint against three more marriage halls in the Bandra area for flouting Covid-19 rules
Close
For representational purposes only. (HT FILE)
For representational purposes only. (HT FILE)

Mumbai: Two acquitted of molesting minor girl

By Charul Shah, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 11:32 PM IST
A 21-year-old Thane resident and his friend were recently acquitted of charges for molesting a 13-year-old girl in an amusement park in November 2017, based on a conversation between the two on a social networking site.
Close
Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay. (HT FILE)
Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay. (HT FILE)

IIT-Bombay awards 123 PhD degrees in interim virtual convocation ceremony

By HT Correspondent, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 11:27 PM IST
The Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay (IIT-B) on Saturday awarded 198 degrees including 123 PhD degrees and several dual degrees to students in an interim convocation ceremony.
Close
The number of tests per day in the state has increased from 35,000 to 80,000 since February 14 due to a spike in cases in some districts, officials said.(HT Photo)
The number of tests per day in the state has increased from 35,000 to 80,000 since February 14 due to a spike in cases in some districts, officials said.(HT Photo)

Maharashtra: More positive test reports in private labs than in government labs

PTI, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 10:57 PM IST
The positivity rate of private labs was 18.76 per cent compared to 12.61 per cent for government ones, with a possible reason being the former deploying more rapid antigen test kits, a senior official said.
Close
The release said the LBT recovered was for the period from April to September 2015, and added the action was carried out by a team led by Deputy Municipal Commissioner Pallavi Bhagat under the guidance of civic chief Vijay Suryavanshi. (Representative Image)(HT FILE)
The release said the LBT recovered was for the period from April to September 2015, and added the action was carried out by a team led by Deputy Municipal Commissioner Pallavi Bhagat under the guidance of civic chief Vijay Suryavanshi. (Representative Image)(HT FILE)

KDMC recovers local body tax of 2.62 crore from Indian Oil Corporation

PTI
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 08:23 PM IST
As per a release of the KDMC, the oil PSU had not paid LBT for fuel pumps in 27 villages that were incorporated into KDMC limits in 2015.
Close
The prosecution said the incident had left the girl "frightened and ashamed", though the defence claimed the man was targeted as the girl's relatives held a grudge against him.(Representative image)
The prosecution said the incident had left the girl "frightened and ashamed", though the defence claimed the man was targeted as the girl's relatives held a grudge against him.(Representative image)

Man gets one year in jail for flashing college student

PTI, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 06:12 PM IST
The accused, a driver by profession who was known to the victim and her family, was found guilty under section 354 A (molestation) of IPC as well as provisions of the Protection Of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
Close
Satej Patil also said these regulations need to be opposed strongly as they infringe the privacy of individuals and free speech given by the Constitution.(Twitter/@satejp)
Satej Patil also said these regulations need to be opposed strongly as they infringe the privacy of individuals and free speech given by the Constitution.(Twitter/@satejp)

'Dictatorial': Maharashtra IT minister on centre's new social media regulations

By HT Correspondent, Mumbai
UPDATED ON FEB 27, 2021 05:54 PM IST
  • Patil told Hindustan Times, "The regulations curtail freedom of expression."
Close
High security outside Antilia at Altamont road after a car laden with gelatin sticks has been found abandoned near billionaire Mukesh Ambani's Antilia residence in Mumbai. (ANI Photo)
High security outside Antilia at Altamont road after a car laden with gelatin sticks has been found abandoned near billionaire Mukesh Ambani's Antilia residence in Mumbai. (ANI Photo)

Just a trailer, says letter found in car near Mukesh Ambani's residence

By Vijay Kumar Yadav, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 02:35 AM IST
Mumbai Police officials said that the note was found in a bag bearing logo of “Mumbai Indians”, the Indian Premier League cricket team owned by the Ambanis.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP