EWS students not able to take online classes due to lack of facilities

The Coronavirus Pandemic is not only taking a toll on lives, but the future of students is also at stake. Students in Delhi who are studying in private school under the Economically Weaker Section Scheme are not able to attend online classes as they do not have a laptop or smartphone. 

The private schools have started with online classes to cover the curriculum amid the nationwide lockdown. But, the EWS students are facing significant challenges. One incident came into light, where a six year old student name Shanti (name changed) is not able to study and is repeatedly asking her mother, “Why am I not able to study?”

The helpless mother said that she is tired answering her difficult question because the truth is we have no means to get a smartphone or laptop. Shanti’s mother told The Quint on call, “What do I even tell her? I have to explain to her that we don't have any device (smartphone or laptop).”

She said that at times she sends her daughter to her neighbour's house to study on their Smartphone, but that’s not possible everyday. She said, “Online classes have started and my daughter goes to the neighbour’s (house) to access these classes. We can go to our neighbour’s for one day, or two days, but after that, they can also say no. And it doesn’t feel good to send my daughter to their house again and again.”

To add to their misery, her husband is unemployed as the manufacturing unit where he was working is completely shut down. They are uncertain whether they will be paid during the lockdown or not. Same is the plea of vegetable vendor Manish, whose daughter is studying on his Smartphone, but is not sure whether he will be able to get the next recharge done or not as he is using earnings of the March and has no idea when he will be able to open his vegetable stall in future. 

He said, “Because of the lockdown, I am unable to recharge my phone data, as shops are shut. On the school’s website, we are only able to watch a few videos and have to skip other videos. Our daughter’s education is suffering. I haven’t been able to open the stall. Obviously, money matters a lot.”

Mother of another child, Ritu told that they don’t have enough money to feed their family, so buying a laptop or Smartphone is out of the question.