Parents want Government to find a solution so they can get needed essential equipment and supplies for children to participate in online classes
- • 68% parents say their children need textbooks for online school classes to be effective
- • 24% parents do not have a screen (desktop/laptop/tablet) for child to access online classes
- • Other items like printer, ink cartridge, stationery items, data connection also outlined by parents
- • Parents with 1 computer for Work from Home and 2 children with online school classes happening are struggling to find solution as they can’t procure the needed supplies
- • Want this to be a consideration as the lockdown extension decision is made
April 14, 2020, New Delhi: The Coronavirus lockdown has forced people to find alternative ways to do things that have been done in a certain manner for decades. Holding online classes for school students is one such thing. Many schools have given schedules and time-tables to their students for online classes or have already started organizing online classes using platforms like Teams, Zoom, etc. The Ministry of Human Resource Development also wrote to the Chief Secretaries of all the state and Union Territories, asking them to organize online classes for students by making use of the existing resources.
However, the availability of physical textbooks to supplement the online learning is quickly becoming an issue for many parents and children. LocalCircles conducted a survey among parent and grandparents from across the country and asked them if the non-availability of physical books and a separate screen is hampering the effectiveness of online classes. 16,545 votes were received on this survey from across India.
Citizens were asked if their children/grandchildren needed physical textbooks to be effective in online classes for their schools. 68% replied in a ’most definitely yes’ while 20% said ‘yes, but online or electronic textbooks are just fine’. Only 5% said they did not require physical textbooks. A small 5% said online classes haven’t or won’t start for kids in their family.
68% parents say their children need textbooks for online school classes to be effective
In the next question, 24% parents said they currently do not have a screen (desktop, laptop and tablet) for their child to access online classes. 74% said they have atleast one of them.
Online Classes during COVID-19 lockdown: 24% parents currently do not have a screen(desktop, laptop & tablet) for their child to access online classes
Given the sudden lockdown decision, many parents have reported that they currently have access to only one computer/tablet at their home. Parents also reported having 2 children at home needing online classes and only one screen available at home and hence the other child is using the parents screen. Some parents said that since they have been working from home, there is major disruption in their work from home activity, as the child is using the screen.
Multiple parents have been on the lookout to buy a laptop for their child to use for online classes, in the past few days and have stated their inability to purchase or rent a laptop due to the lockdown, which has negatively impacted their child’s connectivity to online classes. Some parents have no option but to give their smartphone to children for the online classes which has a detrimental impact on child’s eyesight. Many parents in the online discussions on LocalCircles have highlighted the need for textbooks, printer, printer cartridge, stationery and other related items that they are unable to fulfil currently. Many parents believe that reading books online, doing assignments online in addition to the 4-5 hours of screen time for online classes will have serious repercussions on young children between ages 4-13. A solution must be found to this according to most parents. In a related LocalCircles survey a week ago, 43% parents had highlighted not having the necessary equipment for their children to participate in online classes.
With the lockdown now extended till May 3rd, the Central and State Governments must define an additional list of essentials to be made permissible for transportation and last mile delivery. The parents from across the country want the authorities to add school textbooks, laptops, desktops, tablets and stationery to this list. LocalCircles will share the details of this study with key stakeholders in Central and State Governments for action.