With online education eluding a whopping one/third of school students for a multiplicity of factors, the State government is actively considering to engage under-training students to take the classroom teaching to the doorsteps of deprived students.
Of the over 60 lakh students enrolled in government-run schools from Class-1 to Class-10, an estimated 33% of them are being deprived of virtual classes due to absence of internet connectivity and not having access to mobile phones.
The School and Mass Education Department had begun a WhatsApp teaching system and YouTube live streaming classes for students of Class 1-10 from last month. But the government’s initiative has failed to yield the desired result as online education did not reach the majority of the targeted students.
In an attempt to reach out to the students uncovered by online teaching, it has been planned that the under-training students enrolled in education training schools and colleges would make house-to-house visits and teach students. The door-to-door teaching will form part of their internship programme, said officials of SME department.
The under-training teachers will travel across the villages where the internet facilities are not available.
“The students enrolled in elementary education training courses will reach out to school students, deprived of online education in remotest corners of the State. It will form part of their internship”, said School and Mass Education Minister Samir Ranjan Dash.
Meanwhile, amid vacancies in teachers’ posts, the State government had decided to recruit around 10,000 school teachers on contract through CBT (Computer Based Test) mode.
With classroom teaching coming to a grinding halt following the outbreak of pandemic, the government during the first wave outbreak of COVID-19 last year had taken recourse to online classes to make up for the students’ loss of study. WhatsApp, Google Meet, Zoom and Skype were adopted for online learning. The teachers shared the study materials on WhatsApp for students of Class II to X.
The online classes had however failed to yield the desired results as around 70% students have no access to virtual classes either due to lack of smartphone or internet connectivity. The trend goes unabated during the second wave also as the government has set in motion the live stream virtual teaching sessions for all classes on YouTube from June 21.