More than one in every three students find online classes difficult or burdensome, with most students facing problems in understanding mathematical concepts, a survey by the National Council for Education Research and Training (NCERT) has found.

Poor internet connectivity, disruption in electric supply and non-availability of devices, such as laptops and mobile phones, are among the major hindrances hampering online learning, as per the survey, which is the most comprehensive such study by the Centre.

It also showed that mobile phones are the primary means through which students are accessing online classes.

The NCERT surveyed students and teachers of the education ministry-run Kendriya Vidyalayas (KVs), Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas (NVS) and Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) schools to understand the effectiveness of online learning measures.

According to the NCERT’s survey of KVs, comprising 9,000 responses, 6% of the students found online classes burdensome, while 24% found them difficult. The rest termed the classes satisfactory or joyful.

Among teachers and principals, 1% found the classes burdensome, over 10% difficult, while a majority found them satisfactory. Nearly 30% of over 6,000 parents surveyed felt the online mode burdensome or difficult, while the rest gave a positive response.

Among the JNVs too, 28% of the over 4,000 students surveyed found the classes either burdensome or difficult, while the rest said responded with satisfactory or joyful.

After maths, science was the most difficult to grasp online, while around 17% of the students had difficulty in learning languages.

The survey, part of Education ministry’s Student Learning Enhancement Guidelines, recommended that students not having gadgets can be paired with others in their neighbourhood. Printed study materials may be provided at their homes through postal services or by the teachers. The government should provide electronic or technological gadgets to the students who do not possess the amenities for online classes. It has also recommended community mobile banks where people can donate old but functional mobile phones. Help may be taken from governments, charity organisations, companies under CSR and alumni for obtaining smartphones. Mobile classes may be conducted for such students.

Most states are planning to create a system to ensure that textbooks are delivered to students so that their learning is not obstructed due to the pandemic, the report said.

It also suggested that states undertake a school-wise and student-wise survey to map the digital devices accessibility for each child.

Source- Hindustan Times

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