The title “the Rights to Internet’ might sound a little strange because it is neither from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 nor Convention on the Rights of the Child of 1989. But considering the time the two were drafted, Internet couldn’t have bothered those big brains. Now internet is a serious matter. It divides people as much as it connects them. You must have heard about internet connecting people from across the world, and must wonder where this ‘dividing’ thing emerges from.
We all know the difference between rich and poor, and we know what makes one rich and other poor. Through that same scale if we look at people in this information world we can see how poor some people are in comparison to others. I meet a hundred students every day and I can notice the difference in the degree of smartness among them. The smart ones, the critical ones, and the confident ones are mostly the ones who are in my Facebook friend list. They are the lucky ones who are connected to the world through internet.
They are divided from the ones who are not connected, and in the information world they are the rich ones exercising their dominance over the poor in the classroom. The same reason divides the rural students from the lucky urban brothers. Why should something that is easily available become a dividing factor, after all we don’t need railroads or airport to expand internet connectivity?
There is fiber optic cable running across the country, and it’s very unreasonable if all schools are not given internet connection within next few years. Our children should not find themselves in alien lands after their graduation; they should get the real taste of life in schools. They should not just hear about internet like fairy tales, they should use it. Schools with internet connection must make it accessible to students through whatever means possible. We must break the dividing factor among the students of same school and among rural and urban schools. Everybody should have equal rights to internet just like any other rights.
Passang Passu Tshering
The writer is a teacher with the Bajothang Higher Secondary School in Wangdiphodrang