The existence of a stark difference between the Urban India and Rural India shows up every now and then, and it does more so in the education system. Even though there are claims about many advanced developments and progresses made on the academic front, one cannot ignore the big chasm that exists between the rural and urban populations in the Indian education system. But, there is one juncture when the twain shall meet. It is that phase of a student's life that makes or breaks lives – the dreaded 12th standard or the higher secondary school certificate and the entrance exam that follows it enroot to a professional course. Even though the significance of the 12th standard is a matter of debate, none can escape it as one have an eye set on a career goal. The presence of online platforms has been aiding in achieving a uniform education model ubiquitously.
Taking up the various entrance exams to the various professional courses in the 12th standard has different dimensions for students hailing from the urban and rural parts of India. Usually, the students from urban India have an upper hand in clearing the great leveller of the Indian academia, the 'IIT JEE' than that of the rural students. Sadly, many rural parts of India which fail to provide even the basic amenities to students and have a very tough time imparting quality education to prepare the students for the bigger game of the coveted 'IIT seat'.
IIT's (Indian Institute of Technology) JEE (Joint Entrance Exam) being one of the toughest exams in the world given the competition, is the chief target for all the aspiring engineers. Realizing the high demand for the test preparation, IIT coaching centres have mushroomed across cities over the years, even Tier II and Tier III towns and cities. In fact, coaching has become much more crucial than the school for many.
Rural students, unlike their urban counterparts, having no access to additional coaching, and thus lag in the race. But, at the same time, one can now witness a gradual shift, with the access to e-learning platforms in the education space.
The age of e-learning!
Digital learning is revolutionizing the way things are taught and learnt. The presence of online platforms has been aiding in achieving a uniform education model ubiquitously. E-learning is proving to be a phenomenal opportunity, mainly for the rural children and it comes with many perks!
The online platform can offer quality sessions from the best instructors to everyone. It's a boon for the rural population who do not have qualified-enough instructors to teach the complex curriculum. A visual of a top instructor taking class is available for the students who reside in remote areas too. Further, the student can learn at his/her own pace with flexible timings. In fact, this is the biggest icebreaker for dismantling the barrier between rural and urban students.
• 24/7 accessibility
In today's Flat World, as coined by Nobel Prize Winner in Economics Thomas L Friedman, there are no time constraints. Just as work can happen 24/7, so does learning. The minimal access to basic infrastructure like a tablet or smartphone with even a low bandwidth Internet connection is all that you need. Many online education platforms are successfully being utilised by many students from the rural areas, and are being used by them to ask questions and get their doubts cleared. These are responded to within a very short span of time.
•Interaction for aid
Now, with advanced features, many online platforms offer interactions with the tutor and even peer for a better understanding of the concepts. Furthermore, online mock tests are proving to be a saviour all the time for aspiring students. These self-assessments help to keep track ones progress during the learning process and also helps students to strive for better scores. With the availability of a huge repository of study materials on the cloud, it allows students to cut down on their expenses while acquiring physical study material.
The changing scenario
The constant upgrade of technology has automated the whole process of learning. A slow, yet steady adoption of the online method of learning is happening even among the rural population which has taken to the digital method of learning with gusto and they are benefiting immensely. It is estimated that more than 50 percent of the students appearing for the IIT Joint Entrance Examination (Advanced) in 2018 today hail from rural areas.
Digital learning has definitely boosted the spirits and hopes of rural students. Now that the IIT joint entrance examination is going online, making it mandatory for everyone to have a basic knowledge of using a computer. The online platform plays a pivotal role among rural students to have a taste of new-age learning methods with gadgets.
No doubt, online learning platforms have been instrumental in bringing about a revolution in the old school way of doing things. Many IIT aspirants who cannot come to the big cities for coaching and also those who cannot afford to take up coaching have now have been given a chance to chase their dreams.
Col. Rajendra Prasad Nadella
He drives overall business direction and leads the management team. A dedicated educationist and die hard proponent of “quality education for all” he has been, over the past decade, involved with a number of education initiatives. A decorated army officer, he served with distinction with the National Security Guard.