With the rise in COVID-19 cases, the education system has seen a tectonic shift across the nation. According to a survey by the National Council for Education Research and Training (NCERT), one among every three students is facing difficulties in online classes. Poor internet connectivity, disruption in electric supply and non-availability of devices, such as laptops and mobile phones, are among the major hindrances hampering online learning, as per the survey.

The survey with over 34,000 participants, including students, parents, teachers and school principals from Kendriya Vidyalayas, Navodaya Vidyalas and CBSE affiliated schools, has pointed out that lack of knowledge of using devices for effective educational purposes and teachers not being well-versed with online teaching methodologies, are causing hindrance in the learning process.

According to the data from the survey, in KVs, among 9,000 responses, 6% students find online classes burdensome, 24% students find them difficult and others find online classes satisfactory and joyful. Among teachers and principals, 1% of them find online classes burdensome more than 10% find them difficult. Among 4000 parents, 30% find online classes difficult. The scenario for JNVs is quite similar to KVs. Among 4800 CBSE students, 12% found online classes burdensome and 26% found them difficult.

The survey found that the maximum number of stakeholders opted for mobile phones as a medium for teaching-learning during the COVID-19 period. Laptops were the second most favoured option amongst teachers and principals. Despite the push by the government television and radio were the least utilized devices for the teaching-learning in the pandemic situation. Students majorly rely on mobile phones for the continuation of their teaching-learning. About 36% of students used textbooks and other books available to them.

Mathematics and science were, respectively, the subjects which the students had the most difficulty with online classes, given these subjects involve concepts which require interaction and teacher support. Based on the NCERT survey findings, the Ministry of Education has formulated Students’ Learning Enhancement Guidelines. “The guidelines will help children, who do not have digital resources to get learning opportunities at their homes, with their teachers or volunteers. Apart from this, it will also help in our efforts to overcome the learning deficiencies of all those students who are learning at home through various alternative ways using radio, television or smartphone,” Union Minister of Education, Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ said.