India’s Digital Divide and Kerala’s ‘First Bell’: A Radical and Alternative Form of Digital Education During COVID-19 (74837)

Session Information:

Session: On Demand
Room: Virtual Video Presentation
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation

All presentation times are UTC + 9 (Asia/Tokyo)

Education suffered one of the biggest blows due to Covid-19 in 2020-22. As educational institutes moved to digital-online teaching, ‘digital divide’ or the unequal access of the internet and other digital tools among students, turned out to be a major impediment in its proper conduct & success. In India, caste, class and gender barriers are major contributors to the digital divide, and with the pandemic, this also caused an increased chasm between those who could afford to learn despite difficulties and those who couldn’t. This led to widespread discontent and protests by students of various ages across India, raising demands to reopen educational institutes, to provide students with free internet and other digital requirements etc. However, a small state in India’s southern end called Kerala came up with an innovative and reformative form of pedagogy in the same period, that stressed on egalitarianism and justice. For a state with high television penetration, the Left-wing state government’s well-structured ‘First Bell’ programme proved useful for students from all backgrounds, and when compared to other Indian states, was able to bridge the digital gap to a large extent. It democratised digital education by making the lessons not only available via the internet but on the government’s TV channel too, and secondly, it provided and campaigned to provide students with free laptops, TVs and other gadgets required for e-learning. This paper is on ‘First Bell’ as a radical and alternative form of digital-online education, with an investigation of its methods, contributions and aftermath.

Mukulika Radhakrishnan, University of Sussex, United Kingdom

About the Presenter(s)
Ms Mukulika Radhakrishnan is a University Doctoral Student at University of Sussex in United Kingdom

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Posted by Clive Staples Lewis

Last updated: 2023-02-23 23:45:00