Bitter tablet: Device shortfall sinks digital plunge in Tamil Nadu schools 

Teachers were asked by authorities to make use of their own handsets to teach lessons from the DIKSHA platform as only a limited number of tabs were provided.

Published: 30th December 2019 12:41 PM  |   Last Updated: 30th December 2019 12:41 PM   |  A+A-

Tablet, Tab

For representational purposes

By Express News Service

COIMBATORE: Government school teachers have alleged that lack of an adequate number of tabs at schools has resulted in them not being able to teach digital lessons created by the School Education Department (SED) that can be accessed by scanning QR codes provided in the textbooks.

In 2018, when the Department came up with the new curriculum for classes I, VI, IX and XI, students were provided with textbooks that had in them QR codes and ICT activities. The digital content was hosted on DIKSHA, the national digital platform of the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) and students simply had to scan the QR codes in their textbooks to get access to the content.
Although the initiative found good following initially, teachers state that the scenario has changed now.
"Nearly 98 percent of all schools do not have tabs and the situation is the same in every district. Very few teachers are able to make use of the additional digital content that can be accessed by scanning the QR code and many currently use their own mobile phones to help students out. But the screen size of smartphones are small and only four students can watch the video lessons at any given time," said a teacher from a city government school.

"Some teachers are not willing to give their mobile phones to the students, many senior teachers do not know how to make use of the QR codes, while some use basic handsets. As a result, the system is not successful in government schools," he said.

Sources said, teachers were asked by authorities to make use of their own handsets to teach lessons from the DIKSHA platform as only a limited number of tabs were provided per district.

Tamil Nadu Elementary School Teacher Federation (TNESTF) District Secretary C Arasu, said, "The Department has provided only 100 tabs per district. Teachers are able to use the tabs only once a week due to the shortage. They are not able to make full use of the digital content at present. The Department should ensure that a tab is provided to every classroom at government schools."

It must be noted that last year many teachers made videos and sent it to the SED in order for them to be uploaded in the State Council of Education Research and Training (Tamil Nadu) (SCERT) server.
When contacted, a senior official said that he would look into this matter.


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