Online Education has taken over the world and it is no new news. Likewise, Online UPSC Preparation has become a major tool is preparation for Civil Services. There are a number of students who appear UPSC every year.
But, why is it so important to put our focus on UPSC Preparation in rural area?
Out of the 121crore Indians, 83.3crore live in rural areas. Now that sums up to 70% of the total population.
On an average, 5Lakh people give UPSC every year, so obviously a major chunk from rural areas also gives this exam.
So, it has become so important to provide a certain quality of UPSC Preparation guidance to the aspirants from rural areas.
Let us look at some of the challenges that people from rural regions have to face.
Quality and access to education is a major concern for UPSC Preparation in remote areas. Although a few classes might exist, the students preparing for UPSC require going through a good quality of education and teaching. The UPSC Coaching classrooms are also overly packed with students. The crisis in the teaching profession also reflects in the shortage of trained professionals for UPSC.
A survey states that 6.6 lakh teachers in the country need training, thereby defoliating the Quality of education. This environment is not really acceptable for Civil Services study. Hence, quality becomes a major challenge.
Dearth of teaching faculty
Teachers are the protagonists of the Education; the education can be of any form. Teacher shortages are not new though, particularly after the Right to Education (RTE) Act led to a rise in schools and college enrollments and a demand for teachers. This is the data which was extracted from the survey by RTI
105,630 colleges are run by a single teacher.
5.86 lakh vacancies for teachers in India. Teacher shortages have increased after the Right to Education Act in 2009.
28:1 average pupil: teacher ratio. The ratio can be as high as 100:1 in some colleges though.
By no teachers, we mean no Guidance.
If the basic college education is in the hands on danger, UPSC is still a far of thought.
Poverty is another setback
People belonging to remote rural areas have meager incomes, which at times is too less to sustain a large fee of a coaching class. Most likely, students would be asked to study at home. Now, that sums up to self-study with no guidance at all. If parents are not able to send their children to a coaching institute, the efforts get wasted as a little guidance somewhere is a must. Of course there are exceptions but not all the UPSC Aspirants can manage only on self-study and own understanding.
Most of the people study their basics and secondary schooling in their native language. Most textbooks for UPSC are in English and people in rural areas either speaks their native language or Hindi, but not English. This results in poor command over the English language. The Civil Services Main examination includes two language papers one in Indian language and one in General English. This is irrespective of the candidate’s proficiency in his mother tongue / Indian language. English paper comes compulsory. It is mandatory to clear these two papers as if a candidate fails to clear these papers, his other papers will not be evaluated. Hence, for someone who is not well acquainted with the language, may face tough problems if he tries to study on his own.
Lack of proper transportation
How many times do we hear about the villages having poor connectivity with the cities that are a hub for coaching classes? Most villages have poor connectivity from one place to another and that is often one of the main reasons why, despite efforts, students are not able to cope up with the studies. Walking miles to reach a particular coaching hub is not a solution to all the problems of studies.
So, drawing conclusions from the challenges that I have mentioned, I am withdrawing a few questions here.
Are you a student of remote/rural area and not able to access preparation material for IAS Preparation?
Also, Are you not able to afford the fees of civil services coaching institutes?
And, are you looking for self-preparation without attending any coaching classes?
Are you looking for a ‘doorstep study’?
The answer to all these questions is Online UPSC Preparation.
How is Online UPSC Education important?
Veereshwar is our student who is enrolled with us from Ranebennuru. It is in Haveri district of Karnataka. Veereshwar comes from office and sits in front of his laptop and watches the videos as per the subjects he has chalked out to study. The videos are explained to him and the ‘board is never rubbed.’ In his small town, where there are no coaching hubs, he learns everything. There is also a mentor who guides him with his studies and solves his doubts telephonically. For Veereshwar, Online UPSC Preparation is a better move than traveling to a bigger city and spending on the travel, food, and of course the Coaching class.
Moving out for a coaching class is not a solution
As Kota has become a hub for IIT aspirants, Delhi has become a hub for Civil Services aspirants. However, a large number of aspirants are not able to reach out to the urban centers. But there is one thing which one will need to understand. Moving to these hubs does not guarantee success at all. Cracking UPSC is purely an outcome of the resourceful study one does and the kind of knowledge one imparts. Of course, with the right guidance. So, if you are someone who comes from a rural place, do not feel that there’s anything wrong with not being able to move to a better place.
Internet has evolved. A serious candidate can prepare for the exams from anywhere. With the Internet revolution, even the people living in the rural areas are able to reap the advantages of Online UPSC Preparation. It is high time that the rural masses should start utilizing these facilities for good. Online UPSC Preparation allows you to engage in videos for every single topic, with resourceful notes for the same. How enriching it is if you can watch the video probably whenever you want wherever you want and the number of times you want! Traditional classroom does not provide you that.
Addressing the issue of shortage of teaching faculty
Online Study addresses the shortage of teachers, especially for something as tough as UPSC Preparation. Online UPSC Preparation can do this by providing high quality teaching materials, such as videos, interactive discussion platforms, or high quality notes from an experienced faculty member. Through Online UPSC Preparation approach, the numbers of students who are able to grasp the content is very large. Also, Taking the same notes and mentorship which people from all over the country are referring to can be very enriching and fruitful.
Thereby, the reach widens.
Addressing the shortage of high quality notes
Online UPSC Preparation addresses the shortage of learning material such as textbooks for students. The material could be made available easily and can be read even on mobile phones.
The online Material, again, is not limited to the bookish knowledge, as UPSC requires you to be well versed with the latest news around. Student’s feedback on clarity of assignments, timeliness of feedback, and interaction with faculty over Current Affairs is the USP.
A major significance lies in demonstrating that Online UPSC Preparation today is not just better than nothing — it actually tends to be better than conventional Classroom.
Online Preparation improves the quality of education by providing improved informational content and learning approaches. The vastness of UPSC Syllabus is not new; hence a little better approach towards it is needed. Interactive, communicative Preparation may promote the development of skills which are generically required for such Competitive Exams. These skills can be critical thinking and problem solving, communication, collaboration and creativity. It provides students with information and communications technology skills which are useful in any Online Preparation.
Reducing the Barriers
- Reducing the time it takes to access learning materials and books offline; solving time conflicts through Internet.
- The connection of an Online Mentor and the student is independent from their location. This can be done without travelling, in the comfort of home.
- This is also useful for those individuals who may have impaired mobility (Physically Handicap). They do not have to worry about the participation in training courses; thereby Online Preparation is helpful here.
Economical compensation in Online UPSC Preparation
Given a comparable learning outcome, learning costs of Online UPSC Preparation can be lower, especially with the kind of facilities they provide. For example, there are no commuting costs. Also, sometimes there is also not any required course materials such as textbooks because those are often available for free online. Panel discussion for Current Affairs is also a part of the Online Preparation.
Further, I would recommend you all to subscribe yourself to the important newspapers. Also, bookmark the data and articles which are required on a day to day basis. Try and make the most of Online UPSC Preparation. Make sure you are enrolling into a good Online Coaching and you are buying the study material from a good source. You can also subscribe to guidance program that suits your needs.
Do not feel demotivated by the unavailability of books or coaching institutes in your area. The Online UPSC Preparation compensates for these facilities, very adequately. Planning is very essential for the students from remote areas.
So plan and execute your studies accordingly and there would be no hindrance to stop you in competing for these exams.
Author: Akshay Palande
Akshay Palande is a passionate teacher helping hundreds of students in their UPSC preparation. With a degree in Mechanical Engineering and double masters in Public Administration and Economics, he has experience of teaching UPSC aspirants for 5 years. His subject of expertise are Geography, Polity, Economics and Environment and Ecology.