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Thursday, 3 September 2020

Power cuts, poor Net hamper online education in villages

Ravinder Saini

Tribune News Service

Rohtak, September 2

Interruption in electricity supply, the lack of smart phones and poor internet service in rural areas are coming in the way of online classes at government schools in Haryana.

The Tribune has learnt that around 20 per cent school students do not have a phone, 15 per cent have a simple phone and a majority of the remaining 65 per cent students are dependent upon the smart phones of their parents and other family members.

65% depend on parents' phones

  • Around 20% students in villages don't have a phone, 15% have a simple phone and a majority of the remaining 65% depend on their parents' smart phones
  • Though the Department of School Education is running four Haryana EDUSAT channels for students of primary, middle, secondary and higher classes on all cable/ DTH connections, electricity is supplied for merely four hours in villages (except those falling under the Jagmag scheme) during the day and that too in different slots

Since a considerable number of parents are engaged in labour work, many children get the phone only in the evening after their parents return. The poor internet connectivity in villages adds to their problems while studying online.

Though the Department of School Education is also running four Haryana EDUSAT channels for students of primary, middle, secondary and higher classes on all cable/ DTH connections, electricity supply is limited to merely four hours in villages (except those falling under the Jagmag scheme) during the day and that too in different slots.

Mid-day meal workers delivering material

A special arrangement has been made for those 20% children with no phone. Either Siksha Mitra (volunteers) are sharing their smart phones with them or their teachers are providing them study material through mid-day meal workers. —Vijya Laxmi, District education officer

Siyaram, a construction worker from Polangi village here, said his two sons studied at the village government school, but he neither had television nor a smart phone. "I can't afford a smart phone so both my kids go to a neighbourer's house for online classes," he said.

Krishan, another labourer working at a factory, said he had a smart phone but his children were able to use it only when he returned home in the evening. "Earlier, my children went to the house of one of their classmates who lived nearby but now we do not send them there due to Covid fear," he said.

A teacher said: "Many parents are also facing the issue of internet data. They complain of insufficient data when aksed why their children did not complete their homework. Some even requested us to provide internet data so that their children could study," she added.

District Education Officer (DEO) Vijya Laxmi said a special arrangement of teaching had been made those 20 per cent children without no phone. "Either Siksha Mitra (volunteers) are sharing their smart phones with them for school work or their teachers are providing them study material through mid-day meal workers," said the DEO, claiming that 65 per cent children were watching EDUSAT channels.

J Ganeshan, Director General (School Education), said the department had set up four different channels on the EDUSAT in consultation with the SCERT and three different time slots had been given so that every student could watch the channel as the per availability of electricity supply.

The channels, he said, were being run through the local cable networks.



from The Tribune https://ift.tt/350jIVq

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