HYDERABAD: In the wake of online classes being held by both private and government institutions in the COVID-19 era, a survey revealed that 39.6 per cent families do not have smartphones. One smartphone was available with 48.9 per cent families and only 7.4 per cent families have two smartphones for two children.
Interestingly, 14.8 per cent families do not have even a cable TV connection to allow their children to watch lessons on government educational channels. Only 36 per cent schools have TV sets, but they are not in a usable condition in 10.4 per cent schools.
The survey was conducted by the Telangana State United Teachers' Federation (TSUTF) between June 22 and 27 in 1,868 villages in 489 mandals covering all 33 districts in Telangana state. As part of the survey, the TSUTF took feedback from 22,502 parents and 39,659 students. 17,282 parents' wards were studying in government schools and 5,220 parents' children were studying in private schools.
Only 4.4 per cent parents felt that online classes are useful while 70.9 per cent felt that they were not useful for children. Even the children felt that they could not understand the online classes. Only 3.6 per cent students were able to follow them while 68.7 per cent were unable to do so.
Only 11 per cent parents who have mobile phones said that the mobile data was sufficient for them and their children. Another 30.3 per cent parents said that they had mobile data but it was not sufficient for them. Another 58.7 per cent parents said that they do not have mobile data. 93 per cent of parents demanded immediate reopening of schools with all COVID related precautions.
While sending the survey report to Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, the TSUTF urged the government to start 9th and 10th classes first. TSUTF demanded that the government provide tablets and smart mobiles free of cost to students with sufficient data. All schools should be provided with computers with internet facilities, it added.