Anamitra Banerjee,  Commentary

Increasing accessibility to E-learning during the pandemic in Argentina

Topic: Increasing accessibility to E-learning during the pandemic in Argentina

 

With the dissemination of SARS 2019 Novel Covid across the globe, the close vicinity of 1.5
billion novice learners is denied in-person education and presently relies upon remote learning.
The catastrophe exacerbated massive pre-COVID-19 education, ponderously jolted the
education precinct, towering monumental constraints and stipulation leading to the temporarily
shutting down of academic establishments. With social distancing coming into utmost foreplay,
education and empowerment of the masses have taken the backseat. The fear of losing
semesters, classes, and board examinations has taken a mental toll on some, while families
coming from marginalized sections have to choose between their basic sustenance to survival to
digital literacy mode. Closure of learning spaces has called for UN agencies, government, and
other stakeholders to pursue policy responses that align with the bedrock of just, equal and
peaceful schooling, the nodal indicator of the progress of all SDGs.
Demarcating the Pampas region in the south, bordering five other countries, Argentina had shut
down academies for more than seven months. A survey conducted by UNICEF and the Ministry
of Education accounted for nearly 1.3 million children having minimal or no communication
with their educators during quarantine. The households with children, having access to good
quality Internet or a computer available for educational purposes are mostly well off or are
urban-centric. With an upsurge in the number of drop-outs,gender-biased crimes like sexual
exploitation, child trafficking, child labour, child marriage have recorded a massive influx over
the past months as most economically challenged families are dependent on school-feeding
programs. A recent study showcased that girls are prone to a gender digital divide that barred
them from distance learning programs, causing the second-highest decline in school enrollment
in the region.

The UNESCO Institute of Statistics (Ibid. 2020a)
accords 3.1 million secondary and nearly 14.2
million primary learners have to avail
themselves to e-learning medium of study. The
Govt. of Argentina, in observation to
international protocols of SDGs, have laid down
didactic proposals which aim to provide (i)
pedagogical standard procedures for carrying
out activities at distinct stages of educational
circuits; (ii) equip mentors with precise and
legitimate coaching at various educational
levels; and (iii) conducting educative
methodologies which will enable institutes to hand out germane academic materials to the
students. The teachers in Argentina are continuously engaged in providing dynamic educational
content that would relatively ease the predicament of e-learning.

UNICEF is trying to restore effective distance and
home-based learning delivered through radio, TV,
the internet, and other platforms to ensure
quality education received by all. CTERA, a
member of Education International (EI), have
accentuated the obligation to continue improving
the program in coordination with provincial
authorities, integrating new content with resources that the jurisdictions themselves have
already published online in an effort to reach students affected by school

closures throughout the country. They have further encouraged the educationists and management teams from all
schools throughout the country to visit the “Seguimos Educando” (Let’s Keep Teaching) platform
which boosts the health of the teachers through series of digital educational resources and
materials, which has reduced the cancellation of classes.
To bring the ‘call to action to life, policies, strategies and protocols should be put in place and
implemented across the region to ensure safe school operations, facilitate the return to school
and retention of the most vulnerable groups, make adequate funding available for safe
reopening, guarantee the continuity of learning and scale-up social protection measures for
everyone.

By: Anamitra Banerjee

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