Many students in rural areas of Jammu and Kashmir Union Territory don’t have access to online education as they lack resources to either buy electronic devices required for the purpose, internet connection or both. Government has been promoting online education ever since first lockdown was imposed but these students have been left behind.
Teachers of Government educational institutions share educational contents through WhatsApp, Zoom App, Facebook and YouTube Channel to their students. Most students in urban areas have mobile phones and access to internet through which they can continue their studies. However, this is not the case with a significant number of students in villages who lack resources.
A government official said that they have told higher authorities that even though a majority of students are getting education through online mode but students from rural areas are unable to do so mainly because they don’t have mobile handsets on which WhatsApp, Zoom App, Facebook and YouTube Channels can be used.
Some families have a mobile phone but in case of more than one students, it is not possible for all of them to take classes simultaneously. Community classes were run in rural areas to tackle this problem but it is not possible this time because of rising covid cases and worsening situation.
Students who live in border area are the worst affected because even if they have mobile phones, there are restrictions put on internet because of security concerns. Sources said that Chief Education Officers (CEOs) of several border districts have also told about this problem to School Education Department authorities.
Last year Government asked Doordarshan (DD) and All India Radio (AIR) to develop educational content and deliver it to these students. They telecasted half an hour duration programmes regularly based on specific subjects and even repeated on Doordarshan’s regional channel DD Kashmir. However, government has not put in place any such arrangement this year.
Director of School Education Jammu, Dr Ravi Shanker Sharma said that he is aware of difficulties faced by students of the rural and border areas. They are having talks with DD Gyan, Doordarshan and All India Radio and can come out with a solution soon.
He said that he has directed his colleagues to make content for every subject as soon as possible so that they can telecast it quickly without any further ado. He also assured that they will run community classes once situation improves.