Big flaws in online teaching system at Govt Schools

Immediately after closure of schools the government ordered resumption of online classes without reviewing the availability of high speed internet services in remote rural areas where even the hassle free availability of power is an unresolved issue. While the fact remains that government has established smart teaching rooms with internet facilities for conduct of online classes by teachers only at higher secondary schools and high schools of Srinagar city and other major town, no such facility is available in rest of the government schools in rural areas of both Jammu and Kashmir divisions. The government also does not think about the accessibility of the children of BPL (Below Poverty Line) families to smart phones. Interestingly the high speed internet service has reached only accessible rural areas but not the inaccessible remote rural areas. Knowing that a uniform online teaching facility is must for avoiding any discrimination in the teaching learning process the government should have offered free smart phone facility to the children of BPL (Below Poverty Line) families across Jammu & Kashmir. It is also a fact that smart teaching rooms with high speed internet facility can’t be set up in schools run from rented private schools in inaccessible remote rural areas of Kashmir. When the online mode of education becomes a formal disaster management option, the government has no other choice but to ensure prompt broadband data connectivity in rural areas which was assured last year but government has failed to keep this promise even this year. The  experiences of Corona outbreak last year should have served as a harsh reminder that it needs to be taken up on a war footing without any delay. Keeping in view the irrefutable fact that most of the teachers rely on mobile internet services in schools but they have preferred fixed line broadband internet services from service providers JIO and Airtel at their homes and as such the government should have asked teachers to conduct online class from their homes instead of schools. What matters is the absence of fixed broadband as for convenience of the usage of WiFi at home the fixed broadband connection is must.

In a situation where high speed internet facility is becoming the cause of discrimination in teaching learning process the government should have ordered community classes by local teachers in inaccessible remote rural areas and online classes by teachers from their homes in accessible areas including Srinagar city and major towns as this practice was successfully implemented during last year’s COVID-19 lockdown also .      

Power issues are also faced by about 75% of teachers in schools, but at homes they have the facility of power inverters. In a situation where high speed internet facility is becoming the cause of discrimination in teaching learning process the government should have ordered community classes by local teachers in inaccessible remote rural areas and online classes by teachers from their homes in accessible areas including Srinagar city and major towns as this practice was successfully implemented during last year’s COVID-19 lockdown also .

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