The Urbanization of Education: Steps to Bridge the Gap
As per the Constitution of the US, every child has the right to gain education – this is a compulsory clause. However, the reality is a lot different from this idealistic clause. This fact has manifested especially with a pandemic raging on, limiting us within our homes. Moreover, with the digitalization of education, the racial divide in the Northern Territory of the US has played a spoilsport. Why?
While all the students residing in the urban areas have all the requirements they need to attend online classes (read: laptops and a strong internet connection), the ones who stay in the rural areas belonging to indigenous races have a disadvantage. As per the Annual Consensus of Education for 2020, more than 25% of US students have had to drop out of college as they could not continue their distance education due to a lack of necessities. The report also indicates that even when the students have the required facilities, there is a shortage of indigenous teachers in the grind. This is primarily because trained teachers are leaving their rural hometowns and travelling to cities searching for jobs with higher pay scales.
The Importance of Addressing the Problem at the Primary level
When it comes to bridging the gap created by the urbanization of education, equality isn’t going to solve it all. We need to achieve equity. So, what is equity?
Let us take an example of three students – one from a plush urban society, one countryside-dweller from an upper-middle-class family and another from a poverty-stricken rural belt. In that case, providing laptops or making education accessible to all isn’t going to solve the problem unanimously. Instead, the government and the Education department must provide each student with what they need to achieve equity.
Apart from the gadgets and resources, the focus should also be on the quality of education being imparted. These are the two steps that must be taken to usher in positive reforms in society. We need to remember that the backbone of good education starts at the primary level, where children are taught the basics. Without a clear understanding of the fundamentals, young minds will not be able to grasp advanced concepts.
So, the US government must first implement primary level schooling in every remote corner of the country to achieve sustainable goals in the future.
Education in Urban and Rural Areas: What Creates the Rift?
Researchers across the globe have studied the contrast between urban and rural life scenarios, elaborating on the academic edge that urban-dwellers have over the students hailing from rural areas.
The reports have revealed why urban students often score better than students from rural regions. Some of the factors that affect rural students’ performance are the lack and limitation of their resources. On the other hand, the better academic infrastructure and easy access to more information available on digital platforms make it easier for urban students to perform better.
Other challenges for students from rural areas involve poor internet connectivity, power shortage, etc., which give them limited exposure to the outside world.
That brings us to the most pressing question: How do we fill in the gaps that educational urbanization has left in the rural academic system? Let us delve a little deeper into that.
How to Address the Education Gaps between Rural & Urban Areas?
We need to understand that rural students’ intellectual faculties are no less than their urban counterparts. It is due to the surrounding environment, unavailability of infrastructure, and limited access to different facilities that they lag.
Considering these factors, the government must change the curriculum for rural students to ensure that the gaps are filled and they are at par with the urban students. In this case, the first step would be to universalize compulsory education in rural areas. To that end, let us explore the ways of upgrading primary-level education to meet the gap.
- Access to education and quality must go hand in hand
To provide quality education to students in rural areas, the focus should be on digital and infrastructural facilities. This includes proper classrooms, a working internet connection, provisions for digital learning, easy and economical access to learning materials. For this, the UK government must decentralize resources like solar inverters or generators, data connection, etc., in the remotest areas.
- Maintaining infrastructure
The US government has already taken initiatives to build smart classrooms in public schools across the country in the wake of the pandemic. The aim is to provide features like digital content, broadcasting and interactive classes via video conferencing, etc. In addition, the government is also dedicated to establishing residential schools with upgraded facilities suitable to sustain distance learning.
- Quality of teaching and teachers
At the end of the day, the onus of making a difference in a child’s education relies on an efficient teacher. However upgraded the infrastructure is or availability of digital resources, nothing would work if the teachers are not proficient enough. Since teachers play such an indispensable role in determining the education imbibed by students, schools and colleges must hire experienced visiting faculties. Moreover, now that online classes are replacing traditional classes, school authorities must make it a point to hire teachers who are familiar with online methods.
- Digital aid
With the COVID crisis making technology part and parcel in classrooms, all schools and colleges must ensure that rural students get to enjoy the vast opportunities of e-learning. All students must have easy access to digital resources to seek marketing assignment help. For this, the government must implement smart classroom programs equipped with high-tech computer laboratories and free Wi-Fi. Schools must also provide laptops to students who do not have personal resources.
- Government initiatives
Over the past years, the US government has taken several measures to offer equal education to students all over the country for the simple reason that rural students deserve education no less than their urban counterparts. Some of the measures to be manifested are offering counselling facilities, paying stipends to deserving students with financial constraints. Even if the proper facilities are not available in rural settings, measures must be taken to help promising students pursue higher studies in urban areas.
- Unique Learning
Lastly, measures must be taken to curate academic curriculums that can adapt to students’ varying needs. The education board must take initiatives to make learning methodologies more interesting for rural students. Books must have information related to their culture and values to maintain their interest. Furthermore, the education system must be a perfect blend of formal, informal, and non-formal approaches.
Rural and urban schools can be the same if the government can achieve parity in the availability of resources and similar learning environments. To that end, improving the quality of education in urban and rural sectors can considerably enhance an individual’s ability to become economically productive, develop sustainable livelihoods, and lead to professional growth. So, the authorities must join hands with the government to attain equity to improve society.
Author Bio: Suhana is a passionate blogger and digital marketing enthusiast. Suhana Williams is one of the most talented assignment experts who also provide Java assignment help through Myassignmenthelp. She enjoys the ever-evolving world of digital marketing and loves to share her opinion on every possible update with her audience. When not creating magic with her words, you can find her sky-diving or trekking in the most bizarre locations.