How Online Education is Bridging Rural-Urban Divide in India?

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Satyam Purwar

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About 70% of Indian population comes from rural areas. Therefore, it is understandable that much of the country’s development depends on them. When it comes to education, however, which is a critical factor in the betterment of any country, there is a massive gap between rural and urban parts of India. Students coming from villages and small towns do not get access to many facilities that are readily available to urban students. They cannot compete with students from metro cities, pulling themselves as well as the country backward.

However, with the advent of technology, newer ways of learning are making their way to bridge this gap. Now, online courses are available for exams such as IAS Preparation along with a wide range of other subjects. These courses have opened up a new horizon for students from rural parts of India.

Features of Online Education

Listed below are some of the main features of online education:

Better accessibility: The numbers of schools and colleges are quite low in the Indian villages. Furthermore, they are often located miles away from the village as well. Students need to travel this distance to attend school. Online education has provided a solution to this problem. These courses are offered mostly as video clippings, which students can access from the comfort of their home. They do not need to travel a long distance to carry on with their studies.

An experienced and competent faculty: Well-qualified teachers do not want to teach in schools that are in rural parts of India due to several reasons, be it lack of infrastructure or the many benefits a city has to offer. As a result, students in these parts suffer since there is no one to guide them through the minute details of the vast syllabus. With online courses, however, this has become a thing of the past. Most of the online courses have competent faculty and have years of expertise in their field of study. Many have even won awards and accolades as well. They help students through the intricacies of the subject being taught. It enables the students to develop a sound knowledge of the course. With a solid understanding of the subject, they can unleash their full potential.

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More Flexibility: Physical brick-and-mortar institutes have a fixed schedule. Students need to work their routing around it. It can pose a problem to many students coming from rural areas since they often work to support their families. It is especially true for girls. Online classes, on the other hand, are accessible to students at any time of the day. It gives the students much-needed flexibility to study whenever they want to and not the other way around. 

Informative content: Many learning institutes have an outdated syllabus. This, in turn, makes students unable to get a deeper understanding of the course being taught. On the other hand, online courses have content that is informative and to-the-point. In addition to that, they regularly update the study material provided. Students receive a proper understanding of the subject, helping them perform better.

Lower cost: Students in rural areas of India mostly come from weak financial backgrounds. They can not afford to pay the hefty sum of money most learning institutes charge. Thus, it causes much financial burden on their shoulders. Many even have to leave studying altogether. Online courses, however, are offered for a nominal fee.

Moreover, many of them are given free of charge. In addition to that, for taking these courses, students do not need to be physically present in any institution. This, in turn, cuts away all the cost related to logistics. Therefore, students with a lower parental income can carry on their studies without feeling overwhelmed with the high fees.

Better Infrastructure: Learning institutes in rural India run with the bare minimum infrastructure. They often do not have classrooms with even basic facilities. Students can not get clean water for drinking in some, whereas many do not have fans for relieving the students from the scorching heat in summer. On the other end of the spectrum, online courses are offered as video clippings that can be accessed any time in the day. Students can go through them from the comfort of their homes. Therefore, the lack of infrastructure does not stop them from going on with their studies. 

Online education has gained much popularity in recent years. Up until now, they have been proved to be beneficial in bridging the gap between rural and urban parts of India in the education sector. With the digital revolution and new inventions taking all year round, it is expected to see even more changes that will put online education in a dominating place. However, care must be taken to ensure the technology is used only for the benefit of students and the country.