Telangana: Government schools to adopt e-teaching models
Children who can't afford mobiles, PCs to be taught thru T-SAT
Hyderabad: The government permitted government schools to commence online classes for school students from September 1 on various digital/TV/T-SAT platforms in the state. Keeping constraints of the poor students in getting hold of gadgets, a community learning model will be adopted by teachers of government schools across the city from September 1. The model channelises various educational and training resources and enables the quality faculty to reach out to the last mile institutions through WhatsApp or live telecast it through T-SAT TV channel.
The model was introduced for students from poor backgrounds and marginalised communities who find it difficult to attend online classes due to lack of resources like smartphones, laptops and the internet.
Though the schools are closed for students, the teachers have started going to schools there to prepare syllabus as well as manage paperwork from Thursday. "We have to contact each student's parents and inform them about this new method of learning and also coordinate with the gram panchayat offices," says Srihari, a school teacher of ZPHS, Balaji Nagar Kapra. "We have to prepare study material and report books for students from Class 7 to 10. They will be shared to them over WhatsApp along with similar videos which they can watch anytime from home, he adds.
However, there are still a set of students who don't have a smartphone or a proper connection to the internet which may act as a roadblock for them in their study process. "Students who don't have access to WhatsApp or to the internet can watch the classes on their T-SAT," says Jayasimha Reddy, General Secretary Telangana United Teachers Federation.
"We are getting in touch with gram panchayat offices to cooperate in this process by allowing students to come there and study who don't have access to TV sets," he adds further. Society for Telangana State Network (SoFTNET) is an initiative from the Department of Information Technology, Electronics and Communications of the Govt of Telangana State to provide quality education harnessing the potential of satellite communications and Information Technology. SoFTNET uses GSAT 8 Satellite and telecasts four channels. T-SAT NIPUNA and T-SAT VIDYA cater to the distance learning, agriculture extension, rural development, tele-medicine and e-governance requirements of the people of Telangana.
Demands from teachers
♦Provide basic health support to the teaching staff
♦ Let a certain percentage of staff take up duty daily
♦Sanction budget for worksheets to all schools
♦ Treat those in isolation, quarantine, hospitals as on duty
♦ Responsibility of arranging TVs not to be on teachers
TROUBLING ISSUES FOR TEACHERS
School teachers may find it difficult to cope up to the technical aspect of the new e-learning model. "Teachers are asked to prepare e-content, lesson plans and other materials with regard to reopening of schools. Hence they are attending schools regularly from August 27 onwards to prepare e-content, lesson plans, etc. However, not many teachers are that fluent with technology and using it it is getting difficult for us to cope up to this new way of teaching. Adding to that we are trying to contact every student phone to inform them about the curriculum and syllabus. Our school has become more like a call centre lately," said Srihari, teacher Zilla Parishad High School, Balaji Nagar, Kapra.
As per the data by Unified District Information System for Education (UDISE) 2018-19, there are around 4,440 teachers working in around 755 government schools across the city.
"Teachers are assigned additional tasks apart from their teaching which they are not used to doing. For example, teachers are preparing study materials, recording it, contacting the students' parents as well as visiting houses of students in person who cannot be contacted.
It can be managed by male teachers but female teachers will find it difficult students stay in different bastis and localities. A teacher's task should be limited to preparing study material and cleaning doubts of students. Additional tasks should be assigned to local community leaders and politicians of that specific area," said M Ravindar, State Vice President Telangana Progressive Teachers Federation (TPTF). "Since morning I have called 27 students of which i was able to connect to 17 of them, on top of that I have to prepare all the study material and later send it to students. All the additional tasks are affecting our productivity as well," he adds further.