GUWAHATI, May 19 - As high as 90 per cent students of government lower primary schools of Assam are being deprived of access to online classes that have become the order of the day in the present lockdown situation. Most of these children who belong to lower middle-class families, do not have android mobile facilities.
This revelation was made by general secretary of the Assam State Primary Teachers� Association (ASPTA) Ratul Chandra Goswami while talking to The Assam Tribune.
Goswami said that apart from the online classes, primary school teachers are trying their best to reach out to every student through phone calls.
�Although every government primary school has been running online classes through WhatsApp, it does not mean that the academic activities are going on very well. Online classes cannot be the alternative in the current situation because of the poor socio-economic condition of the parent community,� Goswami said.
The scenario is worse in rural Assam where even managing daily bread and butter amid the lockdown has become a big challenge for the lower middle-class section.
�It is not possible to conduct online classes for my students as only two or three of them have android mobiles at home. Still, we are trying to reach out to every parent over phone and motivating them to keep up with the academic activities of their children. But in most cases, such attempts are also not proving fruitful because most of them have lost their jobs and are struggling against starvation,� Anowar Hussain, a teacher from Guimari village located on the western outskirts of the city said.
Hussain said parents of most of the students are daily wage labourers and amid the lockdown many of them have lost their jobs. In such a situation, educating their children is a distant dream for them.
Swadhin Bodo, another lower primary school teacher from Boko area said that by maintaining social distancing he has been taking classes at his school. He covers only one class every day as it is not possible to cover all the students at a time by following social distancing norms. He too stated that conducting online classes is not possible for his students because of the poor economic condition of the parents.
In the midst of such a scenario in government primary schools, many private schools, especially in Guwahati, are not only conducting regular online classes, some have even started conducting online exams. Such steps have received both positive and negative feedback from the parent community. Some parents even raise the question over the transparency of the online exam system.
Reacting to holding of online exams for lower primary school students, a parent requesting anonymity said, �I don�t understand why weekly examination is required in this situation of global crisis when government is thinking of promoting the students to the next class without any examination. I think we shouldn�t pressurise these kids as everyone is already choking in a suffocating environment. I think we shouldn�t be too ambitious.�