KOCHI: The much-discussed virtual classrooms mooted by the Kerala government for public sector schools in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic may be conducive for some but a large number of students hailing from poverty-stricken families and remote areas have absolutely no access to the virtual world. In order to facilitate the education of such students, the authorities are planning to set up temporary facilities in their locality to enable them to attend online classes.
As per the statistics with the Education Department, around 2.5 lakh students across the state have no access to the internet or can’t afford a smart gadget. The worst-hit are the pupils from remote areas in Wayanad, Idukki and Malappuram districts. The state government has given nod to begin online classes for Class I to XII students from June 1. “There are around 2.5 lakh students in the state who will not be able to access virtual classrooms when the sessions kick off on June 1.
We have given direction to the teachers to identify such students in their respective schools. We will be setting up special infrastructure locally for such students,” says K Anvar Sadath, chief executive officer of Kerala Infrastructure and Technology for Education (KITE ). The students would also be given transportation facilities, he added.
He said that virtual classrooms will not be able to replace physical classrooms. “This is only a temporary arrangement to help students and parents wade through tough times. We are holding exams for students who are unable to travel to their educational institutions at their locality. Likewise, we have asked the school authorities to identify suitable spots like libraries for setting up the infrastructure for online classrooms,” said Anvar. He added regular classes would resume soon. “We are hoping that within three months, schools will reopen. Virtual classrooms are not a feasible option,” he added.
KITE-Victers channel will telecast classes of 30 minutes duration as per schedule. The content would be uploaded on the KITE website and YouTube so that it’s accessible for everyone anytime.