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Over 40% children in 6 states of India never used technology for learning: Survey

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Delhi: More than 40 per cent of students in six states have never used technology for learning while around 8 percent have stopped using it, according to a survey conducted by the Central Square Foundation.

Under the Bharat Survey for EdTech (BaSE), more than 6,000 households in six states — Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram, Odisha, Telangana and Uttar Pradesh — were surveyed covering 9,867 children.

“Forty-one per cent children across surveyed households had never used technology for learning, and eight per cent had discontinued using it. Urban households had a higher prevalence of ‘present users’.

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“The secondary (72 per cent) and middle (55 per cent) grades had the highest proportion of ‘present users’ compared to primary grades (39 per cent),” according to the survey report released at an education conclave here on Tuesday.

The survey pointed out that YouTube was found to be the most popular tool used for learning purposes (89 per cent), followed by WhatsApp (62 per cent) and Google (52 per cent). Overall, the prevalence of low-tech tools was low, which included text messages (8 per cent), TV (7 per cent) and interactive voice response (7 per cent).

“English (84 per cent) and Mathematics (76 per cent) were the most studied subjects using EdTech tools. Further, with increasing grades, higher usage of EdTech tools to study Science/EVS, English, Language, Coding, and GK was reported,” the survey found.

More than half the children (53 per cent) used EdTech tools because of the ease of understanding of complicated topics.

“Other prominent reasons highlighted for the use of EdTech tools included self-paced learning’ (47 pc) and doubt clarification’ (42 pc),” it stated.

At the level of state, Gujarat (95 pc) and Madhya Pradesh (59 pc) found availability of vernacular content most helpful compared to Odisha (12 pc), Uttar Pradesh (8 pc), Telangana (5 pc), and Mizoram (0.3 pc), it said.

The survey found that among children who were currently not using technology for learning, 61 per cent cited reopening of schools after the coronavirus-induced lockdown as the most prominent reason.

“Thirty per cent of respondents cited the availability of other learning avenues (such as tuition) as the reason for not using technology for learning,” it said.

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( With inputs from www.siasat.com )

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