The Meghalaya Government is trying to resolve issues associated with digital divide amongst students and continuing education through online classes
Meghalaya Education Minister Lahkmen Rymbui on May 22 told the Assembly that the government will soon come up with a solution to the shutting down of all educational institutions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
All educational institutions in the state have been shut since March 17 due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
“The government is weighing all pros and cons and problems faced by students, parents and also the school managing committees. We will come up with the best solution (to overcome the problem),” Rymbui said.
He said, “We also know that there are teachers who are not equipped to teach through online classes,” adding that the Directorate of Educational Research and Training has designed a course to train teachers in this regard.
Admitting that the pandemic has disrupted the life of everybody and no one knows for sure when this crisis will end, Rymbui said the government is working on the academic calendar while taking into consideration the health aspects of the students.
Opposition MLAs Ampareen Lyngdoh and Zenith Sangma expressed concern over the plight of many students who have no access to education in light of the digital divide. While many schools in the state capital have attempted online teaching, Rymbui said online classes are only to supplement the knowledge of the students.
The Education minister said that there is a connectivity problem besides the fact that many students cannot afford smartphones and there may not be enough funds for the government to provide gadgets to the students for e-learning.
At present, there are over 9.21 lakh students of which 1.11 lakh are secondary school students and over 58,000 of them are currently enrolled in the higher secondary schools.