By Pulkit Jain
COVID-19 was a fork in the road for over 1.5 billion learners, including over 767 million girls and young women. Over 190 countries faced nation-wide school closure, and at its peak, online learning became a beacon of light that allowed students to continue their education, ensuring that learning never stopped. Grounded by the ‘Building back equal’ initiative, online learning played a key role in empowering girls’ access to education. By establishing resilience in learning and addressing critical issues, it continues to show great potential to overcome time and space limitations, proving to be beneficial for girls’ education needs, be it during the pandemic and even in the new normal.
Creating an impact with accessible and affordable quality education
Barriers for girls in remote regions: Economic growth and development are a part of the structural changes in the society. Educating girls is a significant goal that contributes to this development process. A majority of the population in the country resides in remote regions where we observe girls facing obstacles during their formative years of education – like a lack of transport, quality schools, quality teachers, and even domestic circumstances. In some rural areas, education is off-limits for girls. This not only affects their educational opportunities, but also their employment options in the future.
Times have changed, and while we see progress among remote communities, problems like lack of proper infrastructure in schools and limited teachers still exist. Fortunately, younger generations, even in the remote regions, depend on mobile technology to access information and learn. So, online learning technology has become a springboard for girls in such regions, enabling them to learn new subjects, even during adversity.
Using online learning to ensure continuity of education: Access to technology and online learning has been more empowering for girls than we can even imagine. It provides connectivity and accessibility to the country’s top teachers regardless of where girls are, at an affordable price point. The benefits of online learning extend beyond the realm of formal education, inspiring creativity and innovation among young girls. With online learning platforms, girls have been honing new skills and leveraging new academic opportunities, creating historical learning outcomes, acing competitive exams and excelling in their careers.
Creating a new wave of change to support girl child education
Online learning platforms offer girls the freedom to learn at their own pace and convenience without having to step outside. They also accommodate multiple learning styles within a student-centric environment, which makes the process more engaging and effective.
There is no refuting that online learning technology has been at the forefront of empowering girls to unlock their true potential. Supporting girls’ right to quality education means leveraging technology to meet their educational needs wherever they are, and opening up opportunities for life-long learning, growth, and success. With online learning and concerted efforts to imbibe educational technology with hybrid learning approaches, we have the opportunity to reimagine the world of education where we certainly can ‘Build back equal’ for girls.
The author of this article is head, New Initiatives, co-founder, Vedantu. Views expressed are personal.