The lack of access to stable internet leads to difficulties for students, parents, teachers, and work from home professionals alike.
Kumbalgodu: Children in Kumbalgodu’s Gollahalli village face various problems such as inconsistency in attending classes, poor audio and video quality, and at times missing classes completely due to unstable internet access in the village.
Amulya M, an eighth grade student of Gopalan National School says, “I am unable to attend classes due to internet problems. If I on my video, they are not able to hear me and I am not able to hear them… I have missed so many classes due to internet problems.” Her father is also concerned for her education, and is unhappy with his internet provider despite paying Rs. 10,000 for 10 months for internet connectivity. He says that he has raised complaints a lot of times, to which they always respond by saying that they will look into the matter, but no action is ever taken to improve connectivity.
According to the Karnataka Economic Survey of 2020-2021, the state stands second among southern states in terms of teledensity but still a lot of rural areas within the state face poor internet connectivity.
Mr. Naveen Chikkanna of Sikshana Foundation says that not every child has access to the internet or supportive devices like smartphones. The children have a huge learning gap now as they have missed a year and a half of academics, leading to a substantial drop in learning levels.
On the other hand, teachers are having trouble conducting classes online too. Children generally live in cramped spaces leading to a lot of unwanted background noise, which cause distractions to both -the student and the teacher and disrupt the entire class, making it difficult for the teacher to conduct classes smoothly. J. Nishtha, a Teach For India Fellow who teaches Mathematics to children online, says, “I cannot get out of the screen and explain them certain topics. At the end of the day, they’re sitting in front of a screen; I’m sitting in front of a screen… There is a huge limit to what a teacher can do.”
But, the education sector is not the only one hit by their activities moving online – employees working from home also face a lot of problems.
Mr. Nagendra Naggapa, Sr. Content Analyst at Reuters is unhappy with the lack of mobile towers around his home. He says, “We need to work for one or two hours extra due to network issues, I am required to work for eight to 10 hours per day.” He wishes for a tower to be installed around his house so that it can benefit him as well as the children of the village.
While research on 5G technology has commenced, various groups of people in rural areas are still affected due to poor internet connectivity.