Can online learning be a possible solution to Educational Inequality?
In a post globalized world, messages and viruses spread faster. With the advent of Covid-19 virus in late 2019 halted the world completely with the millions of people dead. However, while the world combated the disastrous disease - technology helped people remain connected. Most of the world's developed and developing countries' educational systems moved to the online mode of teaching where the students took their classes through Zoom, Google Meet, or Microsoft teams.
Where these efficient online tools kept the developed world connected, they also provide a hope to fight the educational inequality.
Is it realistically possible?
While the students despise the online teaching system, it is a ray of hope for over 250 million children that are deprived of schooling due to financial constraints, wars, conflicts, racial discrimination, or lack of facilities.
Reasons why there is a HOPE!
Ever improving speed and accessibility of Internet:
The modern technology allows the data uploading and downloading in the matter of seconds and the accessibility of Internet is ever increasing. With the concept of Starlink's global internet coverage, the under-developed or conflict stricken regions can also access the technology. If that happens, a lot of children can access up-to-date educational curriculums and courses online.
Technologies scale up quickly:
It is more easy to design quality online courses or volunteer teaching than to build school buildings, facilities, hiring the right staff in areas especially that are undergoing wars or conflicts.
The concept of Artificial Intelligence:
Recent advances in artificial intelligence technology allow teachers to distinguish instruction, providing support and appropriate material to students whose knowledge and skill is far below grade level norms. The latest intelligent tutoring systems not only assess a student’s current weaknesses but also diagnose why the student is making the specific errors.
However, where there is a hope - there is a fear. It may look very promising to diminish educational inequality using the technological tools such as virtual instructions, they wont guarantee the quality of education and are difficult to implement.
Moreover, the children suffering from conflicts or wars need proper mentorship and motivation which might be difficult to achieve through virtual instructions. The limitations and access of technology due to conflict or financial constraints can be another bottleneck.
But if the influential organizations from developed countries come forward to invest money, provide technology, or volunteer teaching - the inequality of education can be suppressed.