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Digital literacy needs enhancement

Digital literacy needs enhancement
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Javaid Jawad

We all are living in a new reality. The harsh reality of being face to face with the deadly coronavirus. This reality has jolted and paralysed the whole world, both developed and underdeveloped, rich and the poor, healthy and ailing alike. As of now, the world is still struggling to develop a vaccine to offer a fight against this deadly virus. Scientists all over the world are at it for the past eight months now.
Owing to COVID 19 pandemic, education sector across the world is in deep crisis. The children seeking education are facing huge mental, emotional and psychological upheaval for a long time now.
Since educational institutions are closed, it has denied them congenial atmosphere to learn and grow in a desired manner. Students are in a way “imprisoned” in their homes since March 2020. They have become slack, sloppy and sluggish.
Aggression has crept into their psyche. This could be due to the monotony they have become used to. While staying at home, they are losing interest in a commonplace ambiance around.
During this crisis, online education has come as a rescue for a small chunk of student’s population to some extent. This has generated a euphoria about the utility of digital education which seems misplaced at this point of time on many counts.
Of course, given the emerging trends in the field of education, Digital Literacy is here to stay, irrespective of the fact whether Covid-19 will be here to stay or not.
All tasks in future will require technical know-how and technical skills. Now a child is supposed to be digitally literate. So, it is imperative for all educational institutions to have a well managed state-of-the-art digital infrastructure.
To put in place the required digital infrastructure is the primary need to universalize digital education. Besides, there is a need to upgrade and update teachers and other teaching related staff with technology to make it all-inclusive endeavour for productive output.
Safe internet habits need to be inculcated among the students to make use of digital education-productive and constructive.
Majority of the students enrolled in the state run educational institutions belong to economically poor sections of the society. Parents lack resources to purchase digital gadgets and sustain internet expenses besides energy bills.
Lack of internet access in rural areas is another bottleneck that needs to be addressed.
Slow internet speed is another issue confronted by the student community.
Children have developed physical health issues like weight gain and obesity besides erratic food habits that is taking a toll on their health. Children have developed lethargy, carelessness and rash temperament while remaining confined to their homes.
They don’t have window to relax, play and enjoy nature and natural atmosphere out of their homes. So, it is disastrous for psychologically fragile children. This phenomenon also needs to be addressed while we are living with the harsh covid reality.
Parents across all sections have also developed frustration owing to idleness of children at home as they cannot fully control attitude, behavior and mindset of children while dealing with them at home.
(The author heads Govt.Girls Middle School Onagam, Bandipora)


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