Digital learning is a term we have been hearing a lot since the pandemic. With all schools shut down and over 1.2 billion children at home instead of classrooms, education is seeing a huge shift during these days. Studies also suggest that e-learning helps in better retention of knowledge, so this new and very much sustainable trend might be here to stay.

Making the shift happen

Development of brand-new learning apps, video conferencing platforms, online learning software have seen a significant surge to help support online education. For most of us, this may take little time adjusting to, since we are blessed with access to internet and gadgets such as a phone or a laptop - the key requirements to work from home or learn from home but for those who have no access, this switch to digital learning is taking a toll on their education.

Here’s a small fact for you:

The digital divide is such that rural households with a computer is 4.4% and with internet is 14.9% and urban households with a computer is 23.4% and with internet is 42%. 

It is an overwhelming gap and only when this gap is bridged can all students get equal access to education.

The Right to Learn

UNESCO founded International Literacy Day in 1966 as a reminder of the ‘importance of literacy as a matter of dignity and human rights.’  The theme for 2020 focuses on teaching and learning in the COVID-19 crisis and beyond. The positive ray of hope for students to make this a happy reality has come in the form of many thoughtful NGOs and setups working to provide them with the gadgets they need. The relentless work done by them is ensuring students get their basic right to learn despite the difficulties of the lockdown.

On International Literacy Day, we thought of highlighting some of their amazing work. Read on and you might find something you’d like to be a part of:

  • Kisse Kahaniyan: Ankit Gupta has helped over 3.50 lakh people ever since the lockdown began. Currently they are distributing phones to students who can’t afford them in Delhi, Lucknow, Kanpur, Orissa, and Bengal to begin with. He is raising funds for 200 smart phones to distribute in Delhi and Meerut. You can support this initiative here.
  • Bakul Foundation: Bakul is a group of individuals who began by launching a library movement in Odisha. Ever since, they have grown as an organization and believe that only a movement can bring about substantial change. They have recently begun a campaign to provide smartphones to children. Click here to know more.
  • Saajha- A collaborative effort by Saajha, Charter for Compassion and Cashify is helping underprivileged girls in Delhi government schools to continue studying from home. Read how Hindustan Times has discussed some of the difficulties students face and how NGOs such as these have been supportive. Here’s where you can contribute.
  • Project Khel: Their focus is on children and creating safe learning spaces for them. Children are the centre of all their programs. They are helping students in need with smartphones/ laptops/ school fees in addition to ration distribution, etc.  Know more here.
  • Sarthak: They began educating 1000 slum children in Uttar Pradesh from 2013. After physical classes were disrupted recently they began conducting digital classes and also sourcing digital aids so they don’t miss a class.  They are in need for 220 basic smart phones and 175 laptops. Help them by donating here.
  • Project WHY: Tripods, laptops, smartphones and laptops are some of the gadgets Project WHY is distributing in New Delhi so students can continue learning online. Help them empower and educate.
  • Ploggers Army: An eco-group by this name are connecting the dots to bridge the gap in digital learning. They have also been featured in the Bangalore Mirror. Check out, how you can be a part.
  • Anant Prayas: This organization believes in promoting students to become better global citizens. Our community member, Ravish Mani is part of this initiative and they have distributed 36 laptops so far and as of now due to lack of resources, it is limited to BIT Sindri. Lend a helping hand so they can reach out to more.
  • Being Social: This organization works towards empowering children and giving them a new beginning. Contact Dr.Itishree and Mr.Dipanshu  who are closely working for the education initiatives. Dr.Itishree-9980636159 Mr.Dipanshu-7822644484 

Digital learning is a new concept for many and it comes with its limitations, but only by trying and exploring can we help enhance the learning experience. Let’s give children the tools to a new way of thinking, the chance to learn and become leaders of tomorrow.

If you could relate to this cause, don’t forget to share it around with the hashtag #CauseAChatter and you can always reach out to us if you know any NGO or setup that deserves a mention here.