Prevailing digital divide makes education a hoax

MOST guardians in the city complained that many educational institutions are asking for a huge sum of money for online classes, reports our daily on Thursday. The guardians are much worried regarding participation of their wards in online classes for unusual pressure from the institution  to pay monthly fess and other expenses .

As Covid-19 pandemic situation made most of the city dwellers financially crippled, education for children of middle and lower-middle-income families in the city seems to be a nightmare.

The online classes have now become the privilege of the students of the rich families only, while economically disadvantaged students do not have the access to digital technology. When many lost their income and have to live on low income, purchasing smart devices and maintaining internet connection are luxury for them. Such inability hinders the process of online learning. Earlier schools, colleges and varsities across the country had been shut since mid-March in order to enforce social distancing, which is considered the best to combat Covid-19 prevention in the absence of vaccination.

Meanwhile, many private schools are mounting pressure on guardians to pay the arrear tuition fees of their children ahead of a government order about the promotion of students to the next grade. Due to the financial crisis, many people sent their families to village homes and get their children admitted to school there. Many private schools and kindergarten are dependent only on tuition fees. But due to the coronavirus crisis, they are not getting the tuition fees, resulting in many teachers remain unpaid and left the profession.

When the government comes up with financial support for garments, SME, and many other sectors, the educational sector remains unsupported. Undeniably, the education and health sector are the two-sector that can define the future of a country and can supply healthy, skill generation for the economy. In this unprecedented time, the government should come up to assist the teachers, kindergarten, private schools, and provide a stipend for students. Unless we provide support to the education, the target of Vision 2021, digital Bangladesh and complete literacy will miss out.