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Internet plays class disruptor

Weak link is spoiler, logout means locked out of e-session
Schools are struggling with a system that is still evolving and the heads of several institutions said they were yet to resolve basic technical glitches.

Jhinuk Mazumdar   |   Calcutta   |   Published 11.05.20, 08:54 PM

Poor network connection is keeping students from attending online classes, parents have been complaining.

Teachers, too, have been facing problems with broadband or WiFi connections.

Schools are struggling with a system that is still evolving and the heads of several institutions said they were yet to resolve basic technical glitches.

La Martiniere for Boys had to call off a class because a teacher did not have web connectivity.

“Network issues are beyond the control of the school and the class had to be locked because we noticed unauthorised people entering to disturb the class. Let’s understand that there are classes when a child is absent from school and when the teacher has time they try to cover the missed portions,” said John Rafi, principal of La Martiniere for Boys.

A teacher of South Point was logged out of class because of poor network and a member of the school’s back-up team had to fill in.

“We cannot control internet connectivity. But we have created a back-up so that if a teacher fails to connect, someone else can take his or her place so that the platform is not misused,” said Krishna Damani, trustee of South Point.

Some teachers lock the classroom five minutes into the proceedings and if a student gets logged out because of poor network coverage, he or she remains out.

“Students can send WhatsApp messages to teachers or request re-entry. But a lot of time gets wasted in the process and with so many interruptions the class loses its rhythm,” said Bobby Baxter, the principal of Julien Day School, Ganganagar.

Some schools are also recording the classes for their own archives or for revision, not always sharing it with the students.

Teachers in some schools are also sharing audio clips or recordings of the class on a different platform for students.

“We have created back-up options so that the content of the class can be shared with the students,” said Anjana Saha, the principal of Mahadevi Birla World Academy.

Sushila Birla Girls’ School also has back-up options but the principal admits it is not always the same. “In an interactive class, a child can have a doubt cleared immediately, which is not always the case in recordings,” she said.

After feedback regarding network problems, Shri Shikshayatan School is deliberating if data plans can be made available to teachers from a single company to minimise the problem.

Most schools agreed that the problems could not be resolved overnight, rather changes and modifications would have to be made over a period of time.

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