Srinagar, Aug 30: The decision of the government to keep the educational institutions across the country closed till September 30 has once again brought to fore the importance of online mode of education.
The schools and colleges across the country were closed in March this year soon after the lockdown was imposed to contain the spread of COVID-19. However, schools, colleges and universities in Kashmir were closed on August 5, 2019 after the Centre announced its decision to revoke J&K’s special status and divided it into two union territories. These institutions had opened briefly in March this year but were closed again after the outbreak of pandemic.
The internet services remaining suspended in J&K from August till February this year also hit the students hard. After the ban on 2G internet services was lifted it led to educational institutions getting a chance to revive their activities and most of them shifted to online mode of education. But the slow internet speed played a villain.
On August 16 this year the government allowed resumption of 4G internet services in central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district and Jammu’s Udhampur district on trial basis but there has been no word on the resumption of high speed internet services in other districts.
A principal of a private school while talking to Precious Kashmir said, “Students have faced lot of hardships during the past one year. They have been unable to complete the syllabus. The online classes due to slow internet speed have not been that productive.”
He said, “Last year the schools were closed after the government imposed restrictions and then the shutdown which followed. This year COVID-19 has messed up everything. Despite all odds the private schools have tried their best to reach out to the students. Even exams have been conducted through online mode.”
An analyst said, “The private schools have tried but the same cannot be said about the government run institutions. The students of the government schools have suffered a lot as most of them didn’t have access to smart phones and other gadgets which were required to attend the online classes.”
He said, “Chances of the educational institutions reopening soon look bleak collecting students at one place can aggravate the situation and lead to COVID-19 spreading fast. Even as on date the infection is spreading at a rapid pace and the vaccine only can bring life back to normal. Till the vaccine is found we will have to live with the COVID-19 and students especially in J&K will have to study on their own.”