Andhra Pradesh

‘Cashing in on rising trend’

With online education becoming the order of the day the shops selling mobiles and laptops have been witnessing a mad rush of buyers at Tirupati, Chittoor, Madanapalle and other prominent towns in the district and it is learnt that many outlets have run out of stocks, especially the low and medium range varieties.

A mobile showroom at Chittoor has sold more than 500 pieces in the price range of ₹10,000-15,000 in a week, and has orders on hand for about 400 more. While school students are looking for mobile phones, those in higher classes, mainly engineering courses, are in search of laptops. The demand can’t be met in near future, says a laptop rental service owner in Tirupati. Since May first week, about 30 students have hired laptops from him for a good monthly rental.

Though the government has made online teaching optional, many corporate schools are forcing parents to opt for it suggesting that children, otherwise, would lag behind in studies, lament parents. Many complaints have been lodged with the Education Department officials in this regard.

"More than COVID-19, I am scared of the school management. I get half a dozen phone calls from the school every day, forcing me to go for online classes for my two daughters in seventh and ninth classes. I have to buy two mobiles and each costs at least ₹10,000. I am just waiting for the government schools to reopen," bemoans Radhika, a tailor in Chittoor town.

Panel takes note

Andhra Pradesh School Education Regulatory and Monitoring Commission member Prof. V. Narayana Reddy tells The Hindu that the matter has come to their notice. "We have observed that the frenzied activity around online classes is mostly intended to retain students and collect the fees. The commission has made it clear that online classes should not exceed two hours. The fee collection should be limited to first term, and that too in two instalments with 45 days’ gap. Regular inspections will commence to check these maladies," he says.

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Printable version | Aug 9, 2020 11:58:04 PM |

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