State big on digital push, but over 50% govt schools lack net access

  • | Friday | 17th November, 2023

PUNE: More than 50% of government schools in Maharashtra have no internet connectivity. Many had connections but the network was poor and others bore the brunt of electricity fluctuations.Such schools are affected because the government, since the Covid-19 pandemic, has been making a big push for going digital with almost every aspect of administration like uploading students Aadhaar, marking their attendance, and even sharing lessons and uploading learning capsules dependent on net connectivity.Zilla parishad teacher Suhas Jadhav said that the biggest loss due to lack of internet service besides teaching was the logistics of the school routine as mandated by the state government. Jadhav said the attendance system and data entry are online as is Aadhaar update. "Marks are being updated on the system. These works are affected, especially in rural Maharashtra, as a majority of government schools are in regions where internet connectivity is a problem."With poor internet, not motivated to go extra mile: ZP teacher Many ZP teachers in Maharashtra are bringing innovation and technology in their daily teaching that requires internet connectivity for display in class. These activities have been hampered due to the lack of internet service.ZP teacher Vishakha Mane said hundreds of teachers are being awarded for their innovative approaches to teaching students through audio and video capsules."Showing these videos in class is difficult because there is no connectivity or it is erratic. In such situations, teachers are not motivated enough to go the extra mile," she added.Matin Mujawar of Shikshan Hakka Manch said that the first academic year after the pandemic struck was the most difficult, but the second year could have been better with schools providing internet connectivity for every teacher. "We agree that there is no alternative to in-person schooling, but there was no alternative to online classes either. The government seems ill-prepared even today," he said.Educator Smita Kulkarni said during the pandemic, all schools in Maharashtra heavily depended on online teaching when the internet was the key to disseminating information.Social media was used widely to share notes, chapters, and video sessions. Even when schools reopened for offline teaching, many private institutions across the country still depended on hybrid teaching, she added. "But government institutions still do not have the facility and if they are given uninterrupted internet connection, their teachers will surely do wonders," Kulkarni said.

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