Published: 29th December 2020
Survey finds students in tribal areas received less than optimal exposure to online classes
While the survey found that online classes have reached almost all students when compared to other states, little attention has been given to check the effectiveness of online learning
Pointing to the impact of the pandemic on learning, a survey has found that students in tribal areas received less than optimal exposure to online classes. The students in tribal locations in five districts reported that they attend less than an hour of online class on working days.The survey was conducted by Kanal Innovations, an NGO, among students (Class I to Plus II) in Palakkad (Attapadi), Malappuram (Nilambur), Wayanad, Thiruvananthapuram and Kollam.The students who participated in the survey complained that lack of mobile phone connectivity and occasional power outage affected their virtual classroom learning. There are a lot of students who need the support of teachers to keep them motivated to study.
Any disruption will affect learning skills and it would be tough to bring them back to learning, said Anson P D Alexander, director, Kanal Innovations. The students access classes offered by Kerala Infrastructure and Technology for Education (KITE) through its television channel VICTERS. The survey also pointed out the problems being faced by students of private schools where they complained of online sessions up to seven hours a day. Many schools flout the direction to limit online classes to three hours. Besides, students spend more time online for tuition and homework, said Anson.The survey found that students who are not adept at typing complained of not being able to complete the exams conducted by schools using online platforms. The survey also pointed out the situation of Plus I students in government schools. Many students in Thiruvananthapuram city have never met teachers or classmates in person. Their school WhatsApp group contains a message from the teacher intimating about the online class of the day, said Anson.
While the survey found that online classes have reached almost all students when compared to other states, little attention has been given to check the effectiveness of online learning.According to Anson, students have a tough time as the focus of schools would be to complete the syllabus after the government decided not to reduce syllabus in schools to compensate for the academic days lost.The survey covered 330 students from 14 districts from primary level to higher secondary level. Children from five regions- rural, urban, tribal, coastal and high range - were included in the study.