The civic organization said these students were receiving education through worksheets and voice calls, but 3,698 students completely lost contact with their teachers. The migration of parents during the pandemic is the main reason students lose contact, they added.
However, compared to last year, there is an improvement in the number of students who can access online courses, said Minakshi Raut, head of primary education at PMC.
“When we started last year, only 55% of students had access to online education. But now the number has jumped to 80% with access to online learning.
However, this does not mean that the remaining students are not learning. These students have basic phones on which teachers call them and tell them how to go about class. We are also in the process of printing 70,000 notebooks for the students which will be distributed shortly, ”added Raut.
Compared to last year, teachers are also better equipped to deal with the situation now. “We have a WhatsApp group of tech-savvy teachers who do weekly tests for the class, activities for the kids, which are then distributed among all the teachers.
Home visits are made by teachers to check on students’ progress and whenever parents come to school to bring home the midday meal ration, we ask them to bring the notes in which the students wrote their work. Apart from that, many NGOs also help us to organize small group conferences where their volunteers will teach the students every day or every week, ”added Raut.
However, activists say the survey figures are very different from the realities on the ground. “Just because someone in the house has a phone doesn’t mean the student is being taught online. What happens when there is only one phone and there are three children.
The dad picks up the phone at work and when he gets home the three kids have almost no time left to watch educational videos or do homework. How many teachers give classes in the evening? The actual number of students regularly attending online courses will be less than 50%, ”education activist Matin Mujawar said.
Former deputy mayor and sitting general manager Sidharth Dhende has said PMC’s claims about running offline courses are a farce. “There are hardly any teachers doing home visits as claimed by the education department. To ensure that poor students still have access to education, we looked for student tablets.
However, officials are unaware of the loss of education among children from the economically weaker strata of society who mostly enroll in PMC schools. Therefore, nothing came of the proposal, ”said Dhende.