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[Online Classes] Students Should Not Be Sidelined By Digital Divide: Kerala High Court Directs State To Assist Students Without Smartphones

Hannah M Varghese
31 Aug 2021 1:15 PM GMT
[Online Classes] Students Should Not Be Sidelined By Digital Divide: Kerala High Court Directs State To Assist Students Without Smartphones
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The Kerala High Court recently directed the State and concerned authorities to take steps to ensure that economically weak students are not sidelined by the digital divide and that they are also able to pursue education like other children who have access to such gadgets. Justice Raja Vijayaraghavan V added that they should look into the grievances projected by the students and...

The Kerala High Court recently directed the State and concerned authorities to take steps to ensure that economically weak students are not sidelined by the digital divide and that they are also able to pursue education like other children who have access to such gadgets. 

Justice Raja Vijayaraghavan V added that they should look into the grievances projected by the students and then inform the Court of the prospects of putting up a website with the assistance of the Kerala State IT mission where schools/needy students could get themselves registered so that interested individuals or organisations could voluntarily contribute to the purchase of phones/ digital gadgets or supply them.

The matter will be taken up again by the end of this week. 

A group of primary school students had approached the Court through their parents complaining that they have no digital facilities to enable them to pursue education, which is now being conducted online. 

The petitioners contended that thousands of students like them, belonging to the economically weaker sections and disadvantaged groups do not have access to smartphones, laptops, or for that matter an internet connection to enable them to effectively participate in the online classes.

They also highlighted that they have the right to free and compulsory education which has been elevated to a constitutional right under Article 21A of the Constitution. Reliance was also placed on the provisions of RTE Act, 2009 to bolster their contentions.

Finding merit in the arguments raised by the petitioners, the Court inquired regarding the prospects of putting up a website with the assistance of the IT mission where schools/needy students could get themselves registered so that individuals/Companies/NRI's/NGO's could voluntarily contribute to the purchase of phones/ digital gadgets or supply them.

Case Title: X. v  Principal Secretary, Local Self Government Department 

Click Here To Read Order


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