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70% class 12 govt school students register for DoE online classes

By Kainat Sarfaraz, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON APR 24, 2020 04:05 PM IST

Over 70% of the 150,000 Class 12 students in government schools have registered for its online classes during the ongoing Covide-19 lockdown, said officials from the education department.

These were launched two weeks ago so that students in their final year of schooling do not suffer much during the lockdown in place to contain the spread of the disease. Certain government schools have launched their own online classes and the students have the option of choosing either or both.

Shailendra Sharma, advisor to director of education, said, “Nearly 112,000 students have registered for the online preparatory classes in 11 subjects. Around 44% of science students login regularly compared to 35% of commerce students. All students have been sent the registration details by now.”

While online classes for science and commerce students had commenced on April 6, those for humanities students started this week. The department expects more students to attend the classes in the coming weeks.

“The number of students joining the online classes depends on different subjects. For subjects like English, the lecture videos have had up to 30,000 views in a single day since it covers all streams. However, due to technical limitations of the platform we are using, it would be difficult to assess how many students attended the class for the entire 90 minute session,” said a senior official from the department of education (DoE).

However, not all among the registered students are attending these classes. In addition to the accessibility and connectivity issues, another reason is that many government schools had already started their own online classes.

“It [DoE classes] has become a college-like set-up. Students now have a choice to attend classes or not. They can choose to miss one class because they may have studied that particular chapter before,” the official added.

Ashish Jha, a Class 12 student of Rajkiya Pratibha Vikas Vidyalaya (RPVV) Shalimar Bagh, is one such student. “The education department conducts two classes per day for science students. Since we have limited internet, I prefer attending the classes organised by my school because we know the teachers and have a rapport with them,” he said.

Another Class 12 student, Tisha Phukan, who studies at the School of Excellence in Kalkaji, however, had a different opinion. “Since students in these (DoE) classes belong to different categories, the teachers, who are very experienced, make sure they cater to all and simplify the chapters. The teachers engage students with a new way of teaching, which is why I like to attend it,” she said.

A new teaching-learning process

The Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown has propelled the education sector towards online learning almost overnight. As a result of this, teachers and students are now figuring out the new teaching-learning process on the go.

Talking about the challenges that are cropping up, RPVV Shalimar Bagh’s Asha Seth, who teaches business studies for the DoE, said, “These students are growing up in the internet age. So sometimes, they start asking each other personal question like when they would meet on the group chat during the class. When this happens, we try to bring focus back to the class. This is not the time to scold them since all of us are trying something new.”

She also said that the teachers have taken into account the mixed pool of government school students who attend these classes. “Teachers are studying Hindi terminologies before conducting classes so that they can teach even those who are not very fluent in English,” Seth added.

Arun Sethi, a member of the education department’s core academic unit who is working on these online classes, said, “We do conduct quizzes for students and ask them to answer different types of questions. Some students respond in the chat boxes and that is looked at by the teachers in the session. We are also thinking of creating a Google Form for assessment of all students who attend these classes. However, these would not be counted as internals and would remain for learning purpose.”

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