Where is Technology in their Education? Impact of Coronavirus Pandemic on the Education System of Children from Indigenous Communities

2020-05-08T19:21:05Z (GMT) by Pallavi Kanungo
This paper presents the impact of COVID-19 on the education system of children from indigenous communities in the state of Odisha, India. Given the context, children from tribal communities or tribal areas are educationally backward, not necessarily by ability but by lack of resources. Overtime research points out the lack of technological resources and its low usage among the stakeholders (i.e., children, parents, and teachers) in tribal areas, but to what extent it could have been an aid during this pandemic will remain unknown unless we find out the problem areas. This study emphasizes one indicator i.e., the technology, and reflects its existence in the lives of children from indigenous communities. Drawing the base from reputed online newspapers and global reports, the author first collected the headlines on education, school closure and coronavirus pandemic. In the next step, the newspaper information along with the Government datasets and reports on technology usage assisted in charting three problem areas: electricity in schools, computer laboratory in schools, and space for technological resources. This paper links both the data and presents the results in an explanatory process. The paper concludes that when parents from well-off families struggle to control the overuse of technology among their wards, there on the other, how online learning platforms can be expected as a one-stop solution for the poor tribal, who are by force made to fit in the urban-centric education system. Similarly, urban counterparts having the advantage of electricity and computer facilities in schools cannot be equated with the facilities that are not available for the tribal children studying in Government schools without electricity.