Some BMC teachers teach students even over phone

Some teachers of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) schools are teaching academic lessons over telephone calls in case students cannot access online education. Teachers state many students do not have access to online classes due to lack of internet services, WiFi connection, availability of smartphone or computer facility.

With almost six months after the start of the academic year via online mode of education, teachers of civic-run schools state there are still some students who are deprived of virtual classes. In an attempt to reach these students, some teachers have started calling students via telephone to explain basic academic lessons over a phone call.

Vikrant Deshpande, a teacher said, "In every class, I have at least two to three students who cannot access online classes for various reasons. Some do not have internet, WiFi connection or face electric power cuts which deprives them of accessing online videos, audio and theoretical study material. I have started calling two students on their parent's contact number every morning for 30 minutes each to explain basic concepts of certain subjects."

Teachers said sometimes they observe a drop in attendance in online classes. Mayuri Sawant, another teacher, said, "I observed that just like in an offline classroom the attendance fluctuates, similarly students do not consistently attend online lectures. When I contacted students and their parents to find out the reason, they mentioned technical and accessibility issues. I decided to teach some students via telephone calls along with online classes."

Currently, the BMC has said schools will not reopen offline classes till December 31. Regular academic teaching-learning is being conducted via online mode using virtual platforms. Yasir Khan, a senior teacher said, "If students cannot come to school we have to take the school to students. We have to use innovative and creative methodology to surpass technical boundaries to ensure that no student is deprived of basic education due to the pandemic."

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