The year 2020 changed everything about education in India when every member of the education system had to adopt the digital mode of teaching or learning. While enough has been talked about students' lack of access to online education, the digital hurdle the teachers had to cross has not been discussed often. The COVID-19 pandemic forced teachers to stop physical classes and shift to online teaching while being ill-prepared for the change.
According to an online survey conducted by Learning Spiral, earlier this year, 84% of teachers reported facing issues delivering education through the digital medium, reported The Hindu.
Lack Of Trained Teachers
The move from physical classes to online learning highlighted how well the teachers are prepared to teach online. According to UDISE 2019-20, only one in four teachers in India was trained to use a computer for teaching, as per a report published by The Hindu. The ratio is even poorer for government school teachers in the country.
According to the UDISE survey compiled by The Hindu, in government schools, only 15 per cent of the teachers were trained to use a computer for teaching purposes. Although the share was relatively higher among government-aided and private school teachers, the percentage of teachers trained to use the computer was still 30 per cent and 31 per cent, respectively. The data also highlighted that the share of teachers trained for online classes was lowest in pre-primary and primary levels.
Comparison Between States
The survey reported in The Hindu mentioned that in Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand and Odisha, only 3 per cent of government school teachers were trained to teach with a computer. While, in states like Punjab, Maharashtra and Gujarat, the share is more than 50 per cent, with Maharashtra topping with 64 per cent in that category. For most states, the percentage of trained teachers were more in private schools than in government schools. The difference in the share of trained teachers between government and private schools was 30 per cent or more in states such as Jharkhand, Goa, Karnataka and Haryana. However, Goa had the highest share of trained teachers across all categories – 69 per cent.
Five of the seven North-eastern states, namely Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Manipur, had the lowest overall share of teachers trained to use the computer.
Poor Pupil-Teacher Ratio
Besides the worrying percentages of computer-trained teachers, the pupil-teacher ratio in various states of our country has also shown concern, reported The Hindu. According to Education Ministry, the ideal student-teacher balance should be around 30:1. However, the ratio was more than 40:1 in higher secondary schools in Odisha, Jharkhand, Bihar, and UP. Bihar had a ratio of more than 50:1 for primary, secondary and higher secondary classes.