When the “first bell”, Kerala Virtual classroom project As against the lockdown, which began on 1 June, the biggest challenge was a number: 2.42 lakh. According to a state survey, there were numbers of students who did not have access to online classes in their homes.
That evening, faced the challenge – by a Dalit student of Malappuram’s 9th grade who set himself on fire. His parents said that he was upset about not attending classes because the family did not have a smartphone, and their TV was not working.
And so started a mass movement cutting across party lines and WhatsApp groups, including government, businesses, alumni associations, MLAs, MPs and local civic bodies to bring the school to more homes and general studies. Rooms can also be arranged. In remote villages.
“This unprecedented intervention has helped reduce that number to 1.20 lakhs. In the case of others, common classrooms have been arranged and they have been on track since Monday. Within the last two weeks, we have ensured that online classes are accessible to the students of each school in the state, ”said Dr. Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan, the project director of the state’s Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan. a. P. Says Kuttikrishnan.
In some villages, WhatsApp groups and alumni associations donated money to buy TVs or smartphones. In others, local merchants provided TV sets as part of a “TV challenge” launched by the state’s Department of Industry.
Meanwhile, the government allowed the legislators to use their local development fund to buy televisions and laptops for students.
And the state’s local autonomous body stepped in to complete the chain.
Officials said that almost all villages in Kerala have at least one common center, be it anganwadi, reading room or sports club, a classroom for the education department. Here, teachers of government and aided private schools were put in charge.
For example, in Wayanad, which had the largest number of students without personal access to online classes, general learning centers were established for 9,200 children.
“Laptops, projectors and TV sets have been moved from schools to common centers. In many homes, parents have smartphones that they take to their workplaces. We are sharing online classes with them to reach their children when they return from work, ”says VJ Thomas, District Coordinator of Kerala Infrastructure and Technology for Education (KITE), the nodal agency for ICT-enabled education . National School
Classes are being broadcast on the educational channel IT @ School Victers channel. And one MP who has joined the initiative to ensure that they reach every household is Hibi Aden of the opposition Congress, who has launched a “tablet challenge” in Kochi.
“Online classes brought to focus the digital divide in the state. I launched the tablet challenge by purchasing 10 tablets. People joined the movement by donating more … A group of fishermen donated a tablet. There are professionals working abroad who have taken the challenge. Eden says more than 200 tablets have been handed over to the Education Department.
The ruling CPM MLA, C K Saseendran, who represents Kalpetta of Wayanad, “arranged 1,331 general study centers, mainly in tribal colonies”. “We are on a big mission, ensuring electricity connection and TV. By the end of this week all facilities will be available in the Common Learning Centers.”