Express news service
TIRUCHY: During the pandemic, achieving even minimal knowledge transfer has become a challenge for poor students, teachers said. One of these students is T Kalpana, a student at the Arasangudi government upper secondary school. “I miss class most of the time.
Due to the confinement, I am staying with my grandmother, because my parents and my older brother are going to work, and I have to be left alone. My grandmother owns a small shop that I take care of most of the day. Kalpana is from the village of Keezhavellankulam in Tiruchy. Both of her parents were once day laborers and now go to work for the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA). His brother works in a welding shop located in town.
Kalpana cannot access WhatsApp because her brother is the only person in the family with a smartphone. He does not return home until late at night and stays until the early hours of the morning. “Sometimes I watch the group’s messages, but more often than not, I fall sound asleep by the time my brother comes home,” she explains.
Her teachers said Kalpana was one of the quick learners in the class and did well in her studies before the lockdown. Mr. Jayaraj, Principal of Nagamangalam Government Upper Secondary School in Ariyalur, said: “This is the case in many places. Our teachers conducted a field study and found that less than 10% of students had access to smartphones. He added: “Only 25 have access to Kalvi TV content.” This technological gap threatens the future of many students.
Difficult to follow
“Sometimes I miss the Kalvi TV lessons because they take place at their own pace, unlike the classroom, where we can ask the teacher to repeat something,” says Aarthi from Nagamangalam School.