Online classes don’t click in Nuh, 2 lakh students affected

Lack of smartphones, cable and DTH-enabled TV sets, poor phone network, erratic power supply stall efforts in backward district

Online classes don’t click in Nuh, 2 lakh students affected

Sumedha Sharma

Tribune News Service

Gurugram, May 3

Online teaching may have become the order of the day amid lockdown, but not in the state’s backward Nuh district, home to over 2 lakh students.

Online classes have so far been a non-starter due to constraints such as lack of smartphones, cable and DTH-enabled TV sets, poor network, erratic power supply and students helping out it in family farms. The Education Department and private schools have no choice but to wait for the lockdown to end.

“I am in Class X and will be taking the boards this year. We have had no class till now. Nobody in my family has a smartphone, so I cannot attend an online class. It’s the same for majority of children in my village. My school said classes will remain suspended till May. I am scared how will I study for the boards,” said Nafisa of Shikarkawa village in Punhana block.

Class VIII student Rashid of Karhera village too does not have a smartphone and is helping out in the family fields all day. “This is the harvesting season. I have to help my father in our fields as we have no labour. My schoolmates and I are in the fields the entire day. We have no money to get a smartphone. We will go to school and study as when it opens,” he said.

While the Education Department is trying to keep things going with EDUSAT, progress is poor. “A majority of students in rural areas do not have phones, laptops or computers. Nuh has only 1,300 registered DTH and cable connections, so how do we reach out to students? We are managing the online system in some schools but it’s a challenge to even get it started in rural areas,” said DEO Suraj Bhan.

A teacher of one of Nuh’s private schools said they were being pressured to conduct online classes so that the school could collect fees from students. “I arranged a laptop and tried to get students on board, but most of them did not join the class saying they had no phones or network in their area. We are now being asked to go to their homes and get things set up,” she said.

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