Speaking to Education Times, Umakant Kumar, headmaster, Upgraded Middle School, Khadihara Urdu (Boy), Banka, says that currently 42 teachers are taking classes on alternate days.
“The team has prepared a timetable, which is shared with students through various social media platforms. The response is quite encouraging. However, internet penetration and access to digital device continue to be an issue among our students as the majority of them come from humble background and do not have a smartphone or laptop,” says Kumar, who believe that state government’s intervention is needed to address the digital divide.
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Besides limited infrastructure, lack of awareness among parents is another issue. “Some of the parents believe classes through Facebook will not have much impact on students’ learning, rather it will spoil them,” he says, adding that out of around 700 enrolments, only 10% of students are attending the classes regularly.
Catch up course through live class
Before lockdown this year, Bihar government had planned to conduct catchup course to address the learning gap in 2020 among class II to X students. “Currently, we are conducting catchup course through these live classes,” says Ruby Kumari who teaches at a middle school in Bounsi block of Banka district. Ruby’s video of teaching multiples of nine by using fingers as a calculator went viral on the internet.
“Some of our students are actively participating. Although most of them are grappling with lack of resources, the government to shut physical classes until further notice,” adds Ruby.
Other than regular academics, they are also conducting extracurricular activities. “The move is aimed to keep them engaged, develop their personality as well as to supplement the academic curriculum,” says Shiv Kumar, teacher, Primary School Arap, Vikram near Patna who also calls for government assistance to make online teaching-learning accessible to everyone.
Coding, cookery, painting, dance, music, ITC, and yoga are among other 11 activities that are being conducted for school students.