National Human Rights Commission has recommended the Centre and Union territories/states including to take appropriate initiatives to ensure for all, both in digital and physical mode. It has also recommended that the governments must curb digital divide amongst the children of different strata of society.
The Commission recently passed these recommendations after hearing a petition filed on September 22, 2020 by human rights activist and lawyer Radhakanta Tripathy from Odisha. The petitioner had raised an issue concerning education of students during Covid-19 pandemic. He had alleged that no substantial steps were taken by the governments as corrective measures to address education deficit.
After taking cognizance of this complaint, the NHRC has taken several steps like issuing notice to the Centre and state/UT governments to address this issue. It had issued advisories to protect and promote the rights of children. It has also conducted two webinars on digital divide and issues and challenges of digital education.
Later the ministry of education had submitted an action taken report regarding digital education for children. Research division of the NHRC analysed this report and gave recommendations to the Centre and states/UTs to reduce the impact of learning loss and digital divide.
Some of these recommendations include door to door/App-based surveys to identify out of school children and mainstream out of school children by preparing special online courses. Children should get access to textbooks in both digital and physical form to elementary school children, said the order.