Schools reopening uncertain

A student seen writing notes with the help of a mobile phone, as most of the schools are conducting online classes.

A student seen writing notes with the help of a mobile phone, as most of the schools are conducting online classes.   | Photo Credit: R_V_Moorthy

Poor signals and unaffordability of digital devices a bane for many students taking online classes

Generally by this time every year, schools would have got reopened and new academic year begun. There used to be a festive atmosphere with students and teachers coming to schools and new students getting admissions. However, this is conspicuous by its absence this year.

On the other hand, uncertainty prevails over the reopening of schools, colleges, universities and other educational institutions amid the rapid spread of COVID-19. Though online classes for Class IX students are going on and stopped for Class X students recently with the cancellation of public exams, students are not happy as poor signals are making online classes tedious.

Managements and teachers of private schools though are on the job of collecting e-mail IDs and mobile phone numbers of students and asking the latter to download Zoom app for video conferencing many students are complaining that they have no smartphones of their own. Middle-class parents are providing separate mobile phones with Internet connections to their wards whereas for the poor it has become an additional burden in this critical period.

As regards the students of Government residential schools, it is not a difficulty as they have been given tabs. However, as they are staying at their homes with schools remaining closed, many of them have no Internet facility.

“Classes are getting interrupted often in the middle with disruptions in Internet signals. Besides, it lacks clarity and students keep complaining. If a student uses his or her parent’s mobile and the latter takes away the phone the class is interrupted. Besides, if a call comes to the particular phone it would affect the class,” says Sulakshana Pawar, a teacher in a private school.

Mandal Educational Officer, Balkonda, B. Rajeswar, said that he was not sure of reopening of schools in June or July and there was no talk about the subject among authorities at present. “Clarity would come only after August and till then classes may not run. We took classes in Zoom app for Class X students till recently. Now, for teachers video conference is being conducted,” said he.

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Printable version | Jul 7, 2020 9:08:59 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/schools-reopening-uncertain/article31827912.ece

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