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Online class on hold in state-aided Madhyamik and Higher Secondary school

The decision was taken to make up for the time lost because of the lockdown forced by the coronavirus

By Mita Mukherjee in Calcutta
  • Published 5.04.20, 1:46 AM
  • Updated 5.04.20, 1:46 AM
  • a min read
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State Education minister Partha Chatterjee had announced on Friday that virtual classes would be held through a programme to be telecast on DD Bangla Telegraph file picture

The state government on Saturday shelved its plan to start virtual classes for students of Classes IX to XII of state-aided Madhyamik and Higher Secondary schools following an assessment that tens of thousands of students may miss out on them.

Education minister Partha Chatterjee had announced on Friday that virtual classes would be held through a programme to be telecast on DD Bangla between 4pm and 5pm every day for a week from April 7 to 13.

The decision was taken to make up for the time lost because of the lockdown forced by the coronavirus.

The minister said on Saturday that the classes had to be kept on hold because a number of students, guardians and teachers had informed the government that they would not be able to participate in the classes from 4pm to 5pm.

“The government would not go ahead with the plan because students, teachers and guardians were not happy with the 4pm-5pm time slot. They wanted the programme to be telecast in different time slots,” he said.

“In such a situation, we have decided not to start the classes for the time being.”

An official in the education department said there was no clarity on when and how the plan to hold online classes would be implemented.

The official said many teachers and heads of state-aided schools in remote rural areas had complained that a large number of students would not benefit from the classes because either electricity had not reached their homes or they did not have a TV set.

The Bengal government had recently declared that it had achieved 100 per cent rural electrification. But many families in remote villages in the state have not yet applied for electricity connection because they cannot afford to pay the bill, an official in the power department said.

Many who have got electricity connection do not have a TV set at home. “In such a situation, it is not possible to start virtual classes through DD Bangla,” an official said.

The headmaster of a school in Diamond Harbour said the parents of more than half his students were small-time farmers. “Around 55 students are in Class IX in my school. More than 20 of them do not have a TV set at home. How can I expect them to attend the virtual class?” asked the headmaster.