Centre’s push for e-learning: Ludhiana educators unimpressed, want digital divide to be bridged first
Central government’s enthused push of e-learning at government schools through direct-to-home (DTH) facility in the latest budget rang hollow for students at the ground level as issues of poor digital infrastructure and lack of financial resources still remain commonplace.
Students, as such, were being forced to make do with limited resources to attend remote classes, which are set to continue until February 8 given the latest pandemic guidelines.
The Centre’s latest push for government schools to go digital has further put students with no access to smartphones or proper internet, a basic fundamental for e-learning, in a spot of bother.
Speaking of the latest announcements, a principal of a senior secondary school in the city said, “Even if the schools are open now, major focus has already been driven to e-learning, digital modules and video-related content. The syllabus prepared by the state education department is regularly shared with them online, but not all students get to benefit as they can’t afford to buy a smartphone which has become really essential now.”
Sunil Kumar, a parent, rued the increasing cost of education at government schools and lack of a fallback, saying, “Both my children are enrolled at a government school given the free education. But now that education is digital, I have been trying to collect money to buy a smart mobile which is not the easiest.”
“They have been forced to manage online classes using a cousin’s phone, because there is no alternative at this point and they cannot afford to miss schoolwork everyday,” he added.
Highlighting some of the problems caused by the lack of proper internet services in several areas, another educator said students are finding it hard to prepare well for the upcoming board examination.
According to multiple school teachers, students have been pushed to rely on classmates and fellow students that have better access to the e-learning facilities to deal with the situation.
“Since many students do not have smart phones given the disparate financial status, they are forced to visit their classmates to take online classes daily,” one of the teachers at a government school said.
“Since we share online content for classes as well, they often study together to prepare for their upcoming exams. The government should take an initiative in arranging smartphones for the needy with access to the educational channels operational on them,” the teacher added.
Educators see a silver lining
Teachers did, however, see a silver lining in Centre’s decision to launch the fifth-generation mobile network.
“Many government school students live in areas with poor mobile network, which in turn affects their education. The 5G project will help improve the connectivity. Going digital is the best solution to reach students in the current scenario, but they need to be provided with the right resources first,” one of the teachers said.
The accused, Ashu, a resident of Panipat’s Nara village, killed the victims, reportedly his friends, between 8pm and 4am and travelled around 60km from the first crime scene in Matlauda of Panipat to Titawi in Uttar Pradesh’s Shamli. The victims are Sonu, 26, who was working with a private contractor in a cement factory, and his two friends -- Monu, 25, of Nara village and Rakesh, 27, of Bhalsi village.
The Delhi government introduced the Happiness curriculum in 2018, Entrepreneurship mindset curriculum in 2019 and the Deshbhakti curriculum last year with the aim of inculcating problem-solving approaches among students and making them more self-aware, self-confident and socially responsible.
While the LG appreciated the work done at Indraprastha and Pul Prahladpur, he was displeased at the drainage system at Minto Bridge, flagging “technical flaws” in the drainage system and warned that engineers concerned “will be held responsible and strict action will be taken in the event of waterlogging at the site.”
BJP leader Sudhir Mungantiwar said the MLAs were informed about the election process for upcoming election for Speaker’s post. “They were told that the election will be held through a voice vote or they may have to stand up to vote for their candidate if asked,” said Mungantiwar.
The weather department classifies rainfall between ‘trace’ and 2.4 mm as ‘very light rainfall’, as ‘light rainfall’ when it is between 2.5 mm and 15.5 mm, as ‘moderate’ rainfall when it is between 15.6 mm and 64.4 mm and as ‘heavy’ when it is over 64.5 mm in a single day.