Aakanksha N Bhardwaj
Tribune News Service
Jalandhar, August 10
The pandemic has completely changed the way of life. Online education replaced classroom teaching and when students and teachers, both, started getting the hang of it, parents and students belonging to economically weaker sections started facing other issues.
First, such parents bought smartphones with great difficulty, and once they purchased it, recharging it every month started proving to be an extra financial burden for them.
Ironically, students get free education up to Class VIII in government schools and even for boys, there is a negligible fee when they enter Class IX. But parents belonging to economically weaker sections of society have to spend money on recharging their phones every month amid the pandemic for online education of their wards.
Pinki, a domestic help and mother of three, said just for online studies of her children, who otherwise study for free in school, she has to spend Rs250-400 for recharging the phone. A few parents are even seeking help from teachers to recharge their phones.
They are cutting out on the expenses just to save money to recharge their cell phones.
“I have to work in extra homes to earn more money because my husband was out of work for four months in the pandemic. He has just joined work as a waiter. But it is very difficult to spend money every month that, too, for recharging,” Pinki said.
Geeta, another domestic help, is only working in two homes as others have asked her not to come. But this is the time, when she wants to work extra to earn more money so that she can recharge her phone and ensure her children get to note down the homework given on the smartphone by their teachers. A teacher from a government school in Shahkot seeking anonymity said several parents approach them and tell them that they are suffering from various problems because of the extra financial burden. “Some of them even seek our help to recharge their phones,” he said. There are several students in rural areas, whose parents cannot afford even proper ration for their family, but they are ready to borrow or buy a smartphone for their children’s studies.
"I have to spend Rs 250 to Rs 400 for recharging the phone just for online studies of my children, who otherwise study for free in school. I have to work in extra homes to earn more money because my husband had been out of work for four months during the pandemic. He has just joined work as a waiter. But it is very difficult to spend money every month that, too, for recharging."— Pinki, a domestic help and mother of three
"I am only working in two homes as others have asked me not to come. But this is the time, when I want to work extra to earn more money, so that I can recharge my phone for my children’s education." — Geeta, another domestic help
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