A series of four-hour radio classes, which started its broadcast on the All India Radio, Srinagar, in Kashmir on Wednesday, will help to cover the syllabus of all those students who have no access to Internet or smartphones.
The radio classes were imparted for students from Class 5 to Class 8.
“These sponsored slots on the AIR, Srinagar, are aimed at those students who could not attend the online classes since the pandemic broke out and the formal classes were stopped. Around 70,000 to 80,000 students are those who could not register on our Learning Management System (LMS), which maintains a record of all the students logged in for online classes. The LMS has a three-tier monitoring system to keep an eye on the online classes,” Director of School Education Kashmir (DSEK) Tassaduq Hussain Mir told The Hindu.
The Kashmir division of the Union Territory (UT) has 5.82 lakh students up to Class 12 and only 4.49 lakh students have been able register on the LMS.
“The radio classes and the TV classes on Doordarshan, which are likely to start from June 1, will help cover all the students. The initiative will continue during the pandemic,” Mr. Mir said.
The initiative will also help to overcome the technical handicap of the education department. Officials said only 80% of the 65,000 teachers posted in Kashmir knew how to teach online on different Internet-based platforms.
“Teachers are being constantly trained to teach online to meet the demand,” Mr. Mir added.
Mudasir Awan, a student from Yarmuqam village in central Kashmir’s Ganderbal, was among the 70,000 students who re-started classes on Wednesday.
Awam’s mother Mumtaz Jan said, “My son was able to attend the class for the first time this year. We don’t have smartphones and the Internet is patchy in our area. We need to come down to the plains to catch better signal. The radio classes will help my son to learn and prepare for the examination. Earlier, he would loiter about all day since we cannot afford tuitions.”
Rabia Rasool, programme head, AIR Srinagar, said the radio has a wide reach in the Valley and such classes woud prove beneficial to students living in the upper reaches and remote villages. The AIR, Kashmir, reaches over one crore people in the Union Territory (UT), with a population of 1.25 crore.
“The pre-recorded lectures were broadcast today (Wednesday). The content is creatively produced and should easily help students at home to get a sense of class and re-start studies. Though the inter-personal communication may not be possible there, audio lectures can connect the students back to the class,” Ms. Rasool said.