Global pandemic has taken a colossal hit on all the sectors of the economy. While it has been slightly easier for professionals to adopt work from home as a new normal and continue business as usual, the times have been challenging for the education system around the world that majorly revolved around classroom learning.

The government has recommended moving to online learning as a stop-gap arrangement to evade any disruptions in academic calendars. Technology and smart classrooms are not only transforming education in highly paid private schools, but it is gradually making inroads in government schools. Consequently, e-learning is now the way to transform the education sector. It is showing a positive transformation and schools and colleges in rural areas are also adapting to technology day by day. It is motivating to see that even Tier III and rural areas are stepping up to transform traditional education into a digitally-enhanced process.

While the benefits of online learning are manifold, there are still many roadblocks in the way ahead towards making education an entirely digital (online) phenomenon. When it comes to Online Education or E-Learning, rural population is not completely equipped with utilities like fast internet, uninterrupted power supply and electronic devices. There have been improvements regarding basic intfrastructual facilities but many rural areas in India are still grappling with these challenges to make education completely digital or online.

Some of the major challenges that can be enlisted in this context are:

Digital Literacy and Infrastructural Support :-

These are prominent hurdles that come in the way of enabling online education in the rural regions of India. Though the power and network infrastructure have improved leaps and bounds in the remote areas of the country, there is still a room for improvement. Teachers and students in villages are becoming more accepting towards digital means of learning, but the infrastructural facilities there have not developed fully to become at par with what online learning require. Steady flow of electricity and lack of high speed internet still pose major problems for the rural population.

Limited availability of technological devices

While we look at the domain of digital learning, it is imperative to consider the availability of the right devices to every student for accessing digital content. Not a lot of people in rural India have access to personal laptops or computers, and phone screens are not conducive to long learning hours. Also, data packs and their costs can be a big deterrent both for teachers as well as learners, especially for live classes. Many students either don’t have personal laptops/smartphones or they are available for a limited time. Hence, the learning remains restricted with the limited availability of technological devices.

Lack of Familiarity with Digital Technology

While Smart Classrooms and Digital Learning have already made a way in urban educational setups, some rural countries still rely on traditional teaching methods for their lessons. Therefore, shifting from traditional pedagogical methods to the digital one cannot happen overnight. Teachers as well as students require proper training and more user-friendly platforms to make them familiar with digital technology so that they can be comfortable teaching/learning using them.

Shortage of Technolog, Shortage of teachers or the poor teacher-to-student ratio in villages pose another challenge towards making learning entirely digital in such areas. To make complete digitization of education in rural areas, this ratio needs to be improved and a large number of skilled and well-trained teachers are required so that each and every student receives complete attention even during an online class. While the contemporary online classroom solutions are designed to facilitate engagement and intuitiveness among students towards learning, a teacher’s guidance and attention remain indispensable for learners.


With the Covid-19 putting a halt on classroom learning sessions, online learning has paved a new way to retain normalcy for students and teachers. It is heartening to see that not only urban educational institutes, but the state-run schools in rural areas have also gone digital and resorted to online classes to avert academic losses. Although, not every village and town in India is infrastructurally developed to sustain online education, it is motivating to see many rural schools and colleges adapting completely to e-learning during these times. Also, many affordable and low-bandwidth e-learning solutions are coming up with multi-lingual platform to facilitate easy and convenient online learning classes in rural India. In the last few years, we have observed substantial changes in rural India regarding education, infrastructure and other facilities. With the continuous support from government and innovations coming up in digital technology, online learning will be made affordable and accessible.

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