Due to poor internet connection, unavailability of gadgets and network issues, several school students across the state of Karnataka have failed to attend online classes. The Karnataka government has planned to use the space and infrastructure available in 5,766 Gram Panchayat libraries across the state to impart online education.
The government will install television sets in the libraries for students deprived of education due to the online mode of learning, especially those residing in rural areas. S Suresh Kumar, Primary and Secondary Education Minister of Karnataka said that students will attend live, online or recorded academic sessions telecasted on DD Chandana, using the television sets.
The Minister noted that during the rainy season students, especially from Malenadu areas, have missed out on online classes due to the network issues they faced. Suresh Kumar also added that the pandemic has delayed the start of physical classes. Therefore it is imperative to strengthen mobile networks in rural areas for continuing learning.
Strengthening Mobile Networks In Rural Areas
Earlier on the same day, Suresh Kumar met Chief Secretary P Ravikumar on the issue, reported The Indian Express. According to Education Minister's office, Ravikumar informed the Education Minister that the Additional Chief Secretary of Information and Technology Department had received a positive response from mobile network providers. They will look to strengthen mobile network coverage across the state, especially in rural areas. Deputy CM and Higher Education Minister C N Ashwathnarayan had earlier instructed the mobile networks providers regarding the same.
Last week, Suresh Kumar had talked about the government's plan to establish 'mobile banks' to provide mobile phones to students who are deprived of online classes, especially in rural areas of the state. The Education Minister had elaborated on implementing the initiative with the help of Not-for-profits and philanthropists. Spare smartphones will be collected and distributed among students who require them, the Minister added.
Survey On Internet And Gadget Access
According to a recent survey conducted by the Department of Public Instruction, 33 per cent of the 93.01 lakh students in Karnataka had no access to mobile phones, computers, tablets, and other gadgets needed for online learning.
Further, 40 students surveyed from 34 educational districts stated they do not have an internet connection. Chamarajanagar reported the lowest number of students with internet access (38.92%). Other areas in Belagavi, Ballari, Bidar, Chitradurga, Kalaburagi, Koppal, Davanagere, Haveri, Vijayapura, Raichur, and Yadgir reported low numbers. Students from Bengaluru South (74.64%), Udupi (71.87%), and Bengaluru North (71.53%) reported good access to the internet.