Shillong, Jun 3 : Four prominent organisations in Meghalaya on Wednesday wrote to Meghalaya Education Minister Lahkmen Rymbui informing him that online classes were not feasible in the state as most of the students, especially in the rural areas did not have access to smart phones or internet.
“Post lockdown many schools and colleges are insisting on the need to go online as far as finishing the syllabus for the current academic session. Some educational institutions are even forcing students and parents to comply with online classes,” they said. The four organisations include the Khasi Students Union (KSU), Federation of Khasi Jaintia and Garo People (FKJGP), Ri-Bhoi Youth Federation and Hynniewtrep National Youth Front (HNYF).
“Many educational institutions are sending homework to students online and many colleges are forcing students to submit their assignments online on a given date. Some schools are even willing to boycott notes to the students if parents do not pay the fees on time,” the letter said. “Based on the above mentioned points we would like to state that Meghalaya as a state, even in normal situations has not reached the required percentage of Smart Class teaching and learning process. In abnormal situations due to national lockdown most teachers and students are relying on smartphones as gadgets to cover the syllabus of the current academic session.
This is ridiculous, since Meghalaya cannot suddenly comply with online classes overnight as the majority of the students do not have access to smartphones,” they said. “We firmly hold that there is no level playing field in online classes in the state of Meghalaya at this juncture. Hence we would like to put before you that whatever the case or no matter how far courses have been covered by various educational institutions in the whole period of Corona lockdown shall not in any way be considered as courses covered pending the regular classes of teachers students interaction,” the joint petition to the education minister demanded. Appreciating the government for varieties of training programs given to the teachers, the four organisations however said, “ What needs to be focused on is the mental health being of the students in this crisis, to encourage them in the art of survival, life skill learning and how to cope in this pandemic and not to pressure them with online tutorials.” (UNI)