‘Homework gap’ likely to persist after pandemic

POST-PANDEMIC PROBLEMS: The digital divide in education that was exposed by remote learning during the pandemic is likely to persist even when students return to classrooms, advocates warn.

The “homework gap” — the divide between students who have home access to the internet for educational purposes and those who don’t — has proven challenging for educators in rural and even some urban areas where broadband is not available or affordable. Many teachers are also affected.

While efforts are underway to provide students with adequate internet access, advocates say the problem is unlikely to go away in the fall because remote learning will not completely go away when in-person classes resume.

“This is like water, as far as we’re concerned,” said Titilayo Tinubu Ali, senior director of research and policy at the Southern Education Foundation. “It’s a utility in the 21st century, to have access to high quality internet in your home, so that you can do your learning in a place that’s convenient and comfortable.”