During coronavirus lockdown, Punjab takes digital route to teach students

Written by Anju Agnihotri Chaba
| Jalandhar |

Published: April 11, 2020 11:11:51 am

Online classes being conducted by a government school teacher. Express Photo by Anju Agnihotri Chaba

The Punjab Education Department has taken to popular applications Zoom, YouTube and WhatsApp to start online classes amid curfew which now stands extended till May 1 in the state. These apps are also being used by the department to spread coronavirus awareness among students and parents.

While there have been teething troubles due to varying social-economic backgrounds of students and technical glitches, most parents are appreciating relentless and dedicated efforts of school teachers in keeping the children usefully engaged. Bahadur Sahu, father of two children studying in government senior secondary school, Ladowali Road, said that his kids were finding these online assignments very interesting.

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“My daughter and son have to appear in the pending exams of class 10 and 12. Now with these online classes, they are revising things in a better way because their teachers are in regular in touch with them,” said Bansi Lal, another parent.

District Education Officer ( Secondary), Nawanshahr, Harcharan Singh, said, “All the teachers in Punjab are now taking online classes and in our district alone 721 teachers, including 586 teachers of middle, high and senior secondary schools and 135 of primary classes, have been taking online classes through Zoom App, YouTube and WhatsApp.”

Education Secretary Krishan Kumar said that the state coordinators, resource persons of different subjects and the teams of dedicated teachers in the district including in charge District Mentor (DM) of Parho Punjab has been formed and now they are doing a good job in content development of English, social studies, mathematics, science.

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The translated and simplified study material of Khan Academy Classes and NCERT books in math and science for making the learning of basic concepts easy for the students was being provided to the teachers. He said that some teachers are doing commendable work online.

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DEOs Harcharan Singh and Pawan Kumar while said that besides taking online classes, more than 200 officials, teachers and non-teaching employees of the District Education Department had actually been working in the field as ‘Corona Warriors’ as they had been deputed on duty in different teams along with the police, health, and other departments by the district administration to fight COVID-19 at the ground Zero.

Government Teachers Union Punjab, however, suggested that Punjab Education Department should start this online education through Jalandhar Doordarshan because several students cannot afford the cost of the net packs to run Zoom, YouTube and WhatsApp.

But other groups said that when teachers are giving them homework, the students need to revert through such apps which is not possible through Doordarshan. Meanwhile, the Department is trying to ensure the reach of online classes to each and every student.

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