Corona Corner

Small town shows the way during the lockdown, makes online classes available for govt school students

Online Teaching Through Cable TV, an initiative of JMM’s Giridih MLA, Sudivya Kumar Sonu will help nearly 120000 students of government schools of class IX to XII in continuing their study from best teachers of the subject

Giridih: Whenever some major issue or work takes place, right from conducting census to hosting para-military forces, it is always the students of government schools who remain at the receiving end.

During the lockdown, which has been enforced to save people from Covid-19 virus in India, the same thing has happened to the government school students. But thanks to the efforts of a Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA), Jharkhand, the sufferings of these students are to end soon.

This MLA from Giridih constituency has initiated daily online teaching classes for Jharkhand students of Class IX to XII. During these four-hour-classes, the best teachers of Giridih will be explaining the chapters for pre-matric and post matric students. The pre-recorded lessons will be aired daily, thereby converting the living rooms into study rooms of around 50000 households with cable connections in Giridih, Pirtand and Bengabad blocks.

A month back, a similar concept had been initiated during the lockdown in New Jersey and Washington DC in United States, while in India; Punjab is the only state to have adopted this method of teaching.

Idea gets realized in four days

Giridih legislator Sudivya Kumar Sonu, is the man who conceptualized it informed that Education Minister (Jharkhand) Jaggarnath Mahto told him about Union Human Resource  Development (HRD) Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal asking state education ministers to use Tata Sky and other cable networks to teach students during the lockdown.

“I told the Education Minister that it is not feasible for us as working with big cable operators like Tata Sky is a mammoth task. Also, the reach of these networks is not in households that have government school students. So, I asked him to give me time to chalk out something,” the legislator told eNewsrooom.

He further said, “After returning from the meeting I contacted City News Editor, Abhisek Sahay, who also manages City Cables in Giridih to understand whether it is possible to start online teaching for students using fiber optics. The moment he answered in yes, I began working on other aspects of realizing this plan.”

Lessons from City’s best teachers

As, he began laying out a plan to execute online classes using fibre optics, the MLA realized that already a private school – CCL DAV had been conducting video classes for its students during the lockdown.

“I contacted B P Roy, the Principal of CCL DAV and requested him to help me in this cause. He was more than eager to support us. His team helped us in getting things into place, later a government school teacher Munna Kushwaha coordinated with me to have the entire process in place,” said Sonu.

The MLA added, “The best part of this model is that now a government school student can learn not only from government school teachers but also from private school teachers. We have requested private school teachers to use Hindi words often while teaching, as they normally teach in English.”

Giridih becomes the first district

Sonu also claimed that within four days (Friday to Monday) the idea took full shape. Online Teaching Through Cable TV was launched on Monday in the presence of Jharkhand Education Minister, MLA Dr Sarfaraz Ahmed, Deputy Commissioner Rahul Sinha and Giridih MLA among others.

In doing so, Giridih became the first district to implement this type of education system. Education Minister Mahto also announced that the system will now be replicated in every district of Jharkhand.

Coordinator Kushwaha informed that 60 experts, who teach from classes IX to XII have been trained to record video lessons. The list includes 40 government and 20 private school teachers from the town.

Not a one-way process

Unlike many popular shows and classes, this online teaching will not only have lessons from teachers, but will give students a chance to ask questions and put across their doubts before the teachers.

“A WhatsApp number will be provided to the students, to which they can send in their doubts. The respective teachers will address these issues in the next session,” said Dr Sarfaraz Ahmed.

It comes without any expense

Both MLA Sonu and City News Editor Sahay mentioned that barring few thousand rupees, which has been born by each of them, the entire process to use teachers, and technical system had been provided by CCL DAV School, City Cable and Jharkhand’s Education Department.

The initiative also brought two rival cable operators—City Cable and DDC Cable Network as well as two local channels City News and Newsline together to telecast the sessions to all their subscribers and viewers.

Initially, for a fortnight, the sessions for classes X and XII will be aired first. This will be followed by sessions for standard IX and XI. It has been decided that the online teaching via local Cable TV will take place till July this year.

Shahnawaz Akhtar

is Founder of eNewsroom. He loves doing human interest, political and environment related stories.

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