2.6 lakh students have no access to TV or Internet

Survey finding ahead of online classes from June 1

May 19, 2020 08:51 pm | Updated 11:46 pm IST - Thiruvananthapuram

Nearly 6% of the total students in government and aided schools in the State do not have access to television with cable connection or computer/mobile phone with Internet.

The findings came to light in a survey conducted by the General Education Department against the backdrop of the decision to begin online classes for students from June 1.

The data collection by Samagra Shiksha, Kerala, from over 43.76 lakh pre-primary to Plus Two students in State schools found that more that 2.6 lakh students had no facilities for online classes.

The maximum number of students without access to such facilities was in Wayanad district – 21,653. This was 15% of the total number of students in the district.

The least was in Alappuzha district – 6,683, accounting for 2.94% of the total number of students. Thiruvananthapuram had 19,671 students without these facilities, that is 5.84% of the total student strength in the district.

Preliminary study

A.P. Kuttykrishnan, Samagra Shiksha, Kerala, Project Director, said students numbering between 2.6 lakh and 3 lakh in State schools did not have TV or Net connections. This was a preliminary study, in the wake of which the government would decide upon a mechanism through which online content could reach these students.

“This is not an individual survey. Information on students’ social status is available with class teachers. It is on this basis that students’ access to these facilities is determined. The survey is more of an estimate that helps us understand the situation,” he said.

In the wake of the data collected, Samagra would try to study the distribution of these students at the ward level so that providing them access to TV in a common place, nearby libraries or even in schools while observing social distancing could be explored. Besides online classes, there were also plans to provide these students worksheets directly, he said. The objective of the online classes, Mr. Kuttykrishnan said, was to engage all students academically, after a fashion.

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