Most of the educational institutions across the nation have been conducting online classes to the school students as the Government hasn’t permitted to reopen schools amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite providing digital sessions to the students, not all of them could take part in the classes due to the lack of internet facility and doesn’t have access to smartphones. Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation [BMC] has collected data from the students who take part in the online classes.
According to the data gathered by BMC till 3rd August 2020, out of 246626 candidates who had registered in different schools, about 81603 i.e., 1 in 3 students aren’t participating in the digital classes. Among them, 52 percent of the students are the kids of migrant workers who came back to villages due to the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic. Of the students who aren’t attending online classes, about 76 percent of them don’t even have a smartphone while 43 percent of the students don’t have access to the internet.
BMC has been conducting digital classes to the students since the commencement of the nationwide lockdown. The survey disclosed that among all the students who don’t attend online classes, most of them are between classes 1 and 8. All the students pursuing education in different schools affiliated to BMC couldn’t access e-learning. As a result, the BMC has come up with an initiative to offer offline group learning to the students who couldn’t access online classes.
Sangeeta Tere, the Deputy Education Officer of BMC said, ‘We will open community learning centers with the help of NGOs, community outfits, parents and youth volunteers at community halls, welfare centers, temples, offices of political parties and vacant rooms, wherever it is possible for eight to 10 children to study at a time while maintaining social distancing.’
Mahesh Palkar, the Education Officer at BMC said that they will assign volunteers to operate these centers. It includes 9500 Palak mitras and 6244 Balak mitras. One of the officials said that they have commenced preparing grade-wise worksheets emphasizing various subjects such as Mathematics, Science, and other languages. With the help of volunteers, the officials have decided to distribute textbooks to the students. At the community centers, the students will be able to share devices so that every student could access education. Ashutosh Salil, the Joint Municipal Commissioner of BMC said, ‘Group learning will also address the requirement of social interaction while embracing e-learning.’
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