Mira Bhayandar: Education disrupted as 56% school students have no access to smart phones

Mira-Bhayandar: With private and public schools being shut due to the COVID-19 induced lockdown, classroom has commenced in online mode. With having said that, there are presently 6,151 students are enrolled in 36 Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation run schools; however in a startling revelation only 2,692 have access to smartphones.

Even as privileged students from private schools are taking online classes, a large number of students enrolled with Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC) operated schools-especially those belonging to the lower economic strata of the society are staring at disruptions in their studies sans access to much needed android/ smart phones.

MBMC’s education department has started imparting education to its students on the Zoom, Diksha and Google Meet app since July-2020. Medium and standard -wise WhatsApp groups have been created to keep the students updated about the schedule and timetable on the digitized platform aimed at imparting a blended learning facility that combines classroom approach with online learning.

While 1,565 students have basic mobile phones, 958 have no phone at all, compelling them to skip online classes.

In a belated but much needed move, MBMC Mayor, Jyotsna Hasnale, in response to a demand made by BJP corporator, Dhruvkishor Patil has asked the civic chief to table a proposal to provide smartphones or tablets to students .

“Financial barriers should not come in the way of education for students who do not have access to smart phones and Internet connections. We will do the needful at the earliest to ensure continuity of academic learning of students.” said Hasnale.

Apart from e-learning initiatives, informative serials and recorded teaching sessions are telecast on Doordarshan channel by the State Council for Education Research and Training (SCERT).

“Alike lack of smart phones, only 2,386 students have access to Doordarshan, highlighting the need of providing all students with gadgets to keep them at par with those studying in private schools.” said a MBMC school teacher requesting anonymity.

The proposal of providing smart phones with working internet connections for students of Class VI to Class Xth students, is set to be tabled in the upcoming general body meeting.

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