GUWAHATI, Aug 30 - Although the state government is planning to resume the normal academic activities in Assam by instructing the teachers to attend their duties at their respective schools, it still remains unclear how the teachers will compensate for the academic losses to students, caused by the lockdown.
Notably, the online method of learning has so far not yielded any encouraging results in the State. Especially, the majority of students who belong to poor families in rural areas have failed to derive benefits of this method of education mainly due to non-availability of Android mobile phones with them and poor Internet connectivity.
Meanwhile, a section of people opines that the reduction of the syllabus is a very harmful step for the education sector, which will cause obstacles in preparing good human resources.
Commenting on the issue, Assam Madhyamik Sishak Aru Karmachari Santha general secretary Gobinda Kalita said, �If the situation does not improve very soon, then a good number of students will lose an academic year. Amid the medical emergency, the academic activity practically has come to a halt as the online class method did not work in most places.�
Kalita stated that around 80 per cent of students studying in government high schools have failed to continue with their academic activities through online classes. He pointed out that as the situation still remains critical, most of the parents will think twice before sending their children to schools.
�Government is proposing to conduct classes in open spaces by maintaining social distancing. But I don�t think such a step will work. So, a big challenge is waiting for us in the near future,� Kalita added.
Ratul Chandra Goswami, general secretary of the Assam State Primary Teachers� Association, stated that in case of lower primary students, it will be a great challenge to improve their attentiveness in classes after such a huge gap.
�If the regular classes start, then we have to resume the syllabus from the beginning because most of the students have lost the link with the syllabus. So, we have to work hard. Moreover, the school dropout rate is also likely to increase this time,� Goswami asserted.
Kanak Kalita, general secretary of the All Assam Venture High School Teachers� Association, said the online class only keeps a student engage amid the lockdown but it doesn�t fulfil the academic purpose in real sense. �We are really clueless about how to fill the gap caused by the lockdown. In such a situation, reducing the syllabus will be very harmful. It will cause a great loss to students,� Kalita added.
Dibya Dutta, a high school teacher, opines that most of the students will not come to schools without getting themselves vaccinated. �We will try our best to compensate for the loss to every student. But it will be a very challenging task for the teachers,� Dutta said.
As a damage control measure, noted educationist Dr Amarjyoti Choudhury put stress on the need for remedial classes and special treatment to weak students, including those who have failed to take the benefits of online classes. He further cited that the issue is very critical and lack of proper and timely steps will cause inequality in the education system.
Reacting on the issue, a senior education department official Preetom Saikia said the informal classes could be a solution to address the problem. He further informed that the issue is under active consideration of the state government.