Free WiFi in two villages of Thane district ensure uninterrupted online classesUpdated: Nov 01, 2020, 00:12 IST
Two villages in Thane district have provided free WiFi to students and made arrangements for them to access it so that they do not miss online classes during the lockdown. The initiative was taken as most children in the villages did not have a good internet connection to attend classes.
The common router is installed in Vehlonde and Dalkhan villages in Shahpur Taluka, Thane district.
Jithesh Vishe, deputy Sarpanch, Vehlonde village, said, “We had set up WiFi, CCTV and speakers across the village in 2014 itself. During the pandemic, we made use of the speakers to make announcements. The CCTV cameras were helpful to know if social distancing was followed and the WiFi was a boon for the students to continue their studies. Most of our villages come under forest land and hence we have more of tribal population. Not everyone has the privilege of smartphones. Hence, we make use of the digitalised classroom where a few children from tribal villages come together to take notes.”
Vehlonde village, which does not have a single Covid case, is situated near Tansa river, around 45km from Kalyan.
In Dalkhan village, situated more than 60km from Kalyan, WiFi routers have been arranged in various parts so that the children could study from their homes and maintain social distancing during the lockdown.
“There are some areas where a handful of students come together to study and help each other if they have doubts or need any help during the online classes. Some families do not have smartphones. They share with others of their same age, thus indulging in group study,” said Bhagwan Mokashi, Sarpanch (additional charge), Dalkhan Village.
“Our teacher lives in a different village and it is not possible for her to travel all the way during the lockdown. So, she comes online at a stipulated time. We all gather around the phone, put it on speaker and follow her instructions daily. Initially, we had certain connectivity issues but since the WiFi has been set up, we can attend classes regularly and from our homes itself,” said Atharva Munde, a Class 4 student at Zilla Parishad School, Thane.
Dr Rupali Satpute, chief executive officer (additional charge), Thane Zilla Parishad, said, “Within Thane district, there are various such initiatives taken by the village Panchayat to provide better facilities. We appreciate such efforts and also use it as a motivation for others to follow suit.”