Technology shouldn't substitute teachers: AIPTF
The All India Primary Teachers’ Federation (AIPTF) has raised concern over the growing market for Online Education in India leading to increased use of technology in education that has exacerbated existing inequalities and risks undermining the universal right to quality education.
International Day of Education
GUWAHATI: The All India Primary Teachers' Federation (AIPTF) has raised concern over the growing market for Online Education in India leading to increased use of technology in education that has exacerbated existing inequalities and risks undermining the universal right to quality education.
In a statement on the eve of International Day of Education (January 24), the Federation called for the profession to be consulted in the introduction and assessment of education technology.
"The first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic saw new technologies quickly rolled out in our education systems, allowing for classrooms to move online within days of schools closing their doors. Education technology (EdTech) is a fast-growing industry that is expected to be worth US$285.2 billion in 2027. However, a recent UNICEF report reveals that at least 463 million students worldwide have been cut off from education as they have no means to access remote schooling or remote schooling cannot be offered. In [India], just 24 per cent of Indian households have internet connections to access e-education, and there is a large rural-urban and gender divide that has widened the learning gap across high, middle and low-income families.
"Approximately 70% students are reported to have limited access to online teaching and learning. Teachers face similar barriers. In the recent survey conducted by Education International, the global federation of education unions, teachers in 94 countries report major differences in Internet access for educators along rural/urban and rich/poor divides. Educators in urban and richer areas have considerably better access to the Internet compared to their colleagues in rural and poorer areas. In India, as per UDISE (Unified District Information System for Education) report, in 2017-18, only 28.7 per cent of schools in rural India and 41.9 per cent in urban India had functional computer facilities."
AITF president Ram Pal Singh said, "The Education International survey of its member organizations also reveals that a staggering 45% of responding education unions had not been consulted at all in the introduction of new technologies in education. Only 26% of the 110 unions that responded to the survey reported that they had been consulted on all or many aspects of rolling out new EdTech. There is no consultation with teachers at the primary level, especially in public schools."
AIPTF's Northeast spokesman Ratul Chandra Goswami said, "The COVID-19 pandemic has rendered it extremely biased and faulty. There are several sets of guidelines and plans issued by the government, the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) and the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) for this purpose. There are three pertinent issues in this whole effort of online education and schemes that need serious consideration. One, an exacerbation of inequality; two, the pedagogical issues leading to bad quality education; and three, an unwarranted thrust on online education, post- COVID-19."