The state will fast-track the establishment of mobile towers to enhance internet connectivity for e-learning
Goa Chief Minister on Thursday said that the decision to restart classes for students of Class X and XII will be taken after October 2. This decision is rooted in the fact that about 30% of the students in Goa are still struggling with internet and connectivity issues, which is making the current online and digital e-learning framework an impractical model. To circumvent this issue, the state has planned to speed up the clearing procedure of setting up mobile towers in areas of connectivity issues.
Lack of Digital Infrastructure for e-learning
Earlier on Thursday, the CM who is also the state Education Minister, chaired a meeting of education experts, top education department officials and education sector stakeholders to discuss the National Education Policy, 2021 and to decide on the re-opening of schools, which have been shut since the outbreak of the pandemic. Goa is battling a rise in COVID infection, where it has clocked a tally of 26,783 cases. So far, 327 people have died in the state.
"Decision regarding reopening of schools, especially class X and XII will be taken only after October 2, in consultation with experts and considering the pandemic situation. Internet connectivity is still an issue for students in villages, the government will address this issue as soon as possible," the Chief Minister said.
The state is also working out a system where students would be taught in an integrated set-up of both offline and online means, after taking the stakeholders into confidence. The Chief Minister pointed out that "30 per cent students have connectivity issues. If parents and teachers are willing they can be taught offline. We are working out a plan." Those pupils who do not have electronic devices to access online classes or are in regions of poor connectivity could be provided with hard copies of worksheets at regular intervals by their schools.
In an attempt to establish a well-connected matrix to support the means of online education , Goa Administration has further decided to enhance the internet connectivity in the state. The process of clearing paperwork for setting up mobile phone towers in poor coverage areas would be put on priority for the next eight days in the state. "Over the next eight days, those (telecom companies) who have applied for setting up mobile towers will get the permission to add to their connectivity", said the CM
The fused online-offline mode of education seems to be the most probable and safe suggestion extended by the state. It will help create a system of self-education with focused guidance and support from schools. At the same time, the administration has handed over a golden ticket to various telecom companies, to set up their towers in various rural and unconnected parts of the state, capturing new markets and users.
-With inputs from IANS