Are online classes working? Govt survey to assess ground reality

Panjim: Amidst the ongoing debate over conduct of online classes by the schools, the Goa Government has decided to conduct a survey to ascertain the ground reality with regards to Students’ access to education during school closure due to COVID-19 pandemic.

The survey, to be launched by Directorate of Education (DoE) will give a clear picture about the various platforms used by teachers and students to conduct online classes; including internet connectivity, students’ access to devices like desktop, phone, laptops and also the total hours spent on online classes.

The survey, covering all government and government-aided schools, will also help the govt understand the methods adopted by the schools and teachers to reach out to those students, who have no internet connectivity or devices to attend the online classes.

The DoE has prepared a form, which has to be filled by Headmasters or Principal separately for each class.

“The online survey will help us to know the exact position of online classes; as well as the offline classes,” a senior official said.

The questions like total number of students enrolled for classes, how many students have full, unlimited or limited access to the internet, how many students have access to TV, radio, phones, laptops, etc, hours spent on learning per day per student, etc.

The schools will have to also specify the mode of online learning like use of WhatsApp or Google Meet, YouTube videos, doing worksheets, etc.

In the case of those students, without access to devices and data, the schools have to provide details as hours spent on telephone with teachers, home visit by teachers, peer group working, etc.

The DoE has also sought to know the measures adopted by the schools for ensuring the mental and physical well-being of the students during the classes.

Pending re-opening of the schools, the DoE, following guidelines from the Union Ministry for Human Resource Development (MHRD), had asked schools to make the use of e-platforms like ePathshala for digital books and eContents, SWAYAM for online courses, Swayam Prabha for ETV Programmes, NISHTHA, NROER, DIKSHA, Webinar, etc. for conduct of online classes, though not mandatory.

MHRD had asked all States to encourage and promote online classes till the decision is taken to re-open schools, in the current COVID situation. The schools will remain closed till July 31, until further orders. [H]