In this pandemic, children are probably the biggest victims. Their life has changed with being cooped up at home, no social contacts, no friends, no outdoor. And to top it all, they have to adjust to learning through their parents smart phone.
In India, the Govt is trying to promote the use of its smartphone based education apps - DIKSHA and ePathshala but maybe what they forget is that not everyone owns a smart phone. And that’s why we need to probably learn from Punjab. This state, instead of the smartphone, is building educational TV (ETV) targeted at early grade learners.
ETV is more accessible, easier to produce, and has more rigorous evidence to back it up. Targeting ETV at early grade learners would provide help to those students who need it most. Punjab in fact has said that all classes will be aired on Doordarshan.
According to the latest NFHS and IHDS surveys, about two-thirds of all Indian households and a little less than one-third of the poorest households own a TV. 37% of households without a TV report that their children watch TV at a neighbour’s house.
The central government is currently promoting its existing Swayam Prabha ETV channels but this content is targeted at grades 9-12.
ETV is not the best way to teach; nothing beats in-person teaching. Yet, in these times, this is probably the most cost effective and high access means to reach the children.