Video Conferencing Gives Kashmir Students Access to Education
Save our schools. Save us. Save our future! Those are the words of Kashmiri students whom have not had access to education for a year and a half after over 35 schools were burned to the ground due to consistent violence and unrest. A general lack of safety in the schools and surrounding areas led the Indian government to seek out alternative methods to provide education, turning to video conferencing.
The Indian Human Resources Development Ministries launched the video conferencing initiative to ensure education is readily available. Exchange programs are being developed between schools, for instance. In addition to being able to learn, the students can use video calling to establish friendships through a virtual buddy system. This system allows Kashmiri kids to meet peers from other towns with the hopes of forming long-term friendships.
India is currently revamping its fiber optic network to allow for the internet speeds needed for remote education. Students can then gather at shared venues, public halls, stadiums, pretty much anywhere safe, as long as there is a computer/smartphone with internet, and have a remote class. Currently, this method is utilized in remote areas in Alaska, only accessible via dogsled.
Video conferencing for education is also a viable option in times of natural disasters like Hurricane Irma. For over a week, 70 Florida schools were closed, leaving 2.8 million students displaced with no education; that is just a small taste of what the students in Kashmir are facing. The teachers are ready, the internet connections are being established; no child should miss out on an education due to natural disasters or safety concerns.
For the children of Kashmir, it seems like video conferencing will save their schools, save them, and save their future.
Edited by Maurice Nagle