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Rise of online education during COVID-19 and challenges thereof

( October 08, 2020 )

We can argue that technology driven education has opened the doors for few but has closed the doors for many

With the onset of Corona virus disease, world has seen the largest disruption of education in more than 190 countries and affecting approximately 1.6 billion learners. Closure of educational institutions and other learning spaces had its impact on 94 percent of student population and up to 99 percent students of low income countries. In India alone 320 million children from pre nursery to higher education got affected. Almost 24 million additional children may drop out or may not get access to schools next year due to economic impact of covid 19 across the globe. Before the covid pandemic our education system was fighting hard to overcome already existing disparities but covid crises has exacerbating effect to these already existing disparities by reducing the opportunities and access to education for most of the vulnerable children living in poor, rural areas, girls, refugees and persons with disabilities (UN report Aug 2020).

As the covid induced lockdown was abrupt, educational institutions were left with little space to prepare for these impending disruptions. While responding to these crises situations our educational institutions have become more responsive and proactive with the limited resources available at their disposal. A shift from face to face physically embedded classroom to online education was made and certain platforms like zoom classes, Google meet, Google classroom start functioning which earlier most teachers and students were not familiar with though radio and television were already in place. So we saw wide spread popularization of online teaching and learning during these testing times but with some question marks like what about those children who are already affected by lack of resources or enabling environment to access learning. Recently in June 2020 a child rights NGO ‘Smile foundation’ carried out a study “Scenario amidst covid 19 on ground situations and possible solutions” and it was found that 56% of children were found to have no access to smart phones which have emerged as essential tools for online teaching and learning during pandemic times. In another study it was found that only 8% homes with young members have computer with internet connection. So in this way we can argue that technology driven education has opened the doors for few but has closed the doors for many.

We are aware of the fact that education is the dynamic force in the life of every individual influencing physical, emotional, mental, social and ethical aspects of development. Online education does have a positive role to play but it is not the panacea. I strongly believe we must use these online platforms of teaching and learning with utmost care and wisdom as the purpose of education is not merely dissemination of information which through online tools is being bombarded into the minds of students. Education is transformation of life. We need creative minds and their response in order to transform the society. Our students should know that they are the creators of culture.

Education is sensitivity, sensitivity to self, sensitivity to life and world. Online teaching and learning cannot have this sensitivity. This human touch is possible only in face to face physically embedded classroom. Education is communion between the teachers and students, the communion of thought, communion of feelings and more importantly communion of experiences. In physical classroom situation a teacher activates all faculties of a student viz. emotional, physical, intellectual, social, moral, ethical and spiritual which is not possible by way of online teaching and learning.

Using technology without human element of teacher and student is making objects of most of us. If we keep on using technology like this we will not develop with human characteristics but will be programmed like robots. Learning is social in nature but unprecedented use of online education can lead us to social isolation. Glorifying online education will have its serious implications on the socialization process of our young ones. Ambit of teachers in online teaching has been only that of service providers and those of students as consumers. Amidst all this creativity is casualty. Justifying and legitimizing online education because of technology is not a right vision or frame of mind to have. Neoliberalism has taken the control of education and markets are deciding what is good and palatable for our students. It has engulfed all our value system, critical thinking, logical enquiry and humanistic traditions.

To make our nation strong we need a vibrant and strong educational system. To realize this aim our schools, colleges and universities are the pathways for better life to generations to follow. Technology should not be allowed to replace the cohesive, sensitive and cordial relationship between a teacher and his student. This intimate contact between the teacher and his disciple is like a corner stone in resurrecting the building of education.


Privacy Policy - Smile Foundation

Information Gathering

1. Smile Foundation collects information from the users in a number of ways, for example when the user:

  • Makes a donation
  • Signs up for a campaign
  • Signs up to stay updated

2. While forwarding a donation for Smile Foundation the well-wishers have to submit some personal information as it would help us ensuring genuine contributions:

  • Your name
  • Your email and mailing address
  • Your telephone number
  • Your payment processing details
  • Any other data as required

3. Smile Foundation does not collect or record the user’s personal information unless he/she chooses to provide it.

Use of Personal Information

1. General browsing of Smile Foundation website is anonymous and it does not register the user’spersonal information except the time, date and place of visits and the name of internet service provider. This data is used only for statistics and diagnosis.

2. By signing up for various services offered by Smile Foundation, the user explicitly authorizes us to collect information based on the user’s usage. The information is used to help provide a better experience to the user and is used as per the user’s specified instructions.

3. Smile Foundation keeps the user information strictly confidential and this information is secured safely. All relevant information collected through Smile Foundation website is handled and used by internal and/or authorized officials only. It is nevershared with any external agencies or third party individuals.

4. Smile Foundation uses the information givento it in the following ways:

  • To keep an accurate record of all the donations received
  • To update users about its happenings and developments through bulletins and newsletters, with an option of not to subscribe for the same
  • To make sure the user is receiving the most appropriate and relevant information
  • To find out more about the people who are visiting the Smile Foundationwebsite, donating, or joining its campaigns

5. Usually, Smile Foundation does not store user data. In case of specific sign-ups, the data is stored as per user request. The user can opt to delete all the information he/she has provided by simply requesting such by mail. All information, without exception, will be deleted in two working days.

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Individuals who join Smile Foundation’s mailing lists via its website or through its campaigning engagements are added to its email database. Smile Foundation does not sell, rent, loan, trade, or lease the addresses on our lists to anyone.

Cookie Policy

1. Cookies are pieces of electronic information which will be sent by Smile Foundation when a user visitsthe website. These will be placed in the hard disk of the user’s computer and enable Smile Foundation to recognise the user when he/she visits the website again.

2. The user can configure his/her browser so that it responds to cookies the way he/she deems fit. For example, you make want to accept all cookies, reject them all or get notified when a cookie is sent. The users may check their browser’s settings to modify cookie behaviour as per individual behaviour.

3. If a user disables the use of cookies on the web browser, or removes or rejects specific cookies from Smile Foundation’swebsite or linked sites then he/she may not be able to use the website as it is intended.

Payment Gateway

1. SmileFoundation uses well-recognised and proven technology for payments. Payment information is transferred by the use of an SSL connection which offers the highest degree of security that the donor’s browser is able to support.

2. Several layers of built-in security, including an advanced firewall system, encryption of credit card numbers, and use of passwords, protect the collected information.

External Web Services

1. Smile Foundation uses a number of external web services on its site to display content within its web pages. For example, to display video it uses YouTube. As with the social media buttons, Smile Foundation cannot prevent these sites, or external domains, from collecting information on the user’s consumption of the content embedded on its site.

2. The Smile Foundation website contains links to other websites for the benefit of its visitors. This Privacy Policy does not apply to such other websites.

3. Smile Foundation is not expressly or impliedly responsible for, or liable to any loss or damage caused to a user by the collection, use and retention of Personal Information by such website in any manner whatsoever. It is important that the users review the privacy policies of all websites they visit before disclosing any information to such websites.

Changes to Privacy Policy

1. As and when the need arises, Smile Foundation may alter its privacy policy in accordance with the latest technology and trends. It will provide you with timely notice of these changes. The users may reach out to Smile Foundation if they have any queries about any changes made to its practices.

2. If you have any questions at all about Smile Foundation’s privacy policy, please write to us at: [email protected]

Refund and Cancellation Policy

Welcome to this web-site of SMILE FOUNDATION. We make public our policy on refund and cancellation of donations received for the social cause on payment gateway as under:-

  • No refund/cancellation for the donated amount by any donor will not be entertained, the online donations through the online payment gateway.
  • No cash or refund of money will be allowed.
  • If any in-kind support received by the donor from any where the material will be reached to the poorest of the poorer communities.
  • Once received the donation for a cause will not be refunded to the donor. No cancellation to be made. The donation will be used for the community development, children education or women’s empowerment.
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Supplementing & In Alignment with Government Initiatives


Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan
National Education Policy
Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao
Digital India


Skill India
Enhancing Formal Skilling


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Universal Health Coverage
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Poshan Abhiyan
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