No Net, students in Punjab may miss exams - ECAS Punjab

No Net, students in Punjab may miss exams

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Deepkamal Kaur
Tribune News Service
Jalandhar, August 31

Aman, a Class VII student of Government Middle School, Shahkot, has been unable to attend online classes. His father can't afford an Internet data pack on his phone.

Digital divide

  • Parents of many students of government schools can't afford a data pack

  • Teachers admit that digital divide is affecting the studies of children

  • They add that they will try to ensure 100 per cent participation in online exams which began on Monday

Aman somehow manages to catch up on his classwork using his neighbour's phone, but he is in a fix as his exams began today. He says in lieu of using his neighbour's phone, he has to often help him in his fields.

Similarly, Sapna, a Class VIII student of Government School, Shergarh, Hoshiarpur, says she and her elder brother rely on their father's phone. They wait for their father, who sells plastic goods, to return home to complete their school work.

Her father says though he has a spare phone, he has no money to get a connection. Even schoolteachers admit that the digital divide is affecting the studies of children belonging to the underprivileged sections.

Maninder Thukral, a teacher at Government Junior Model School, Ladowali Road, says: "Most of our students belong to families which earn just enough to make both ends meet. Many can't afford a smartphone or worse a connection with data pack. We have to contact many students either through their neighbours or other classmates living in their localities."

Kulwinder Singh, a teacher at a Jalandhar village school, says: "As the first online exam of Punjabi was held today, only about 30 of 42 children in my class appeared. Given the constraints, we have allowed students 22 hours to take the exam. We are aiming at 100 per cent participation."



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