It has been more than a month since private and government schools in the country have been providing online classes and sharing study materials through various digital platforms with their students. However, many of the students have been struggling to access the classes because of poor internet connectivity and lack of devices that support such classes.

Students from various places from Bajali area are facing difficulties in attending online classes due to the lack of Internet connectivity as the online education has become a new normal amid the COVID-19 outbreak.Many times the speed of Airtel, Jio network is showing 5 kbps to 70 kbps.

Customers are complaining that they buy net packs with heavy amount to use internet, but they didn’t get proper 4G service. Sources said students from the poor background were the worst affected.
Nowadays, people have become a part of digital life, without internet it is difficult to access online education, Bank transaction etc.
The parents have urged the government to strengthen telecommunication services in the region.

A teacher of Bhattadev University, said, “We had started our University’s online classes for 2nd and 4th semesters, but some students cannot afford these online classes. Our classes are going on in Zoom or Google Meet, and it is being seen that many students cannot continue till the end of the lecture. If 30-40 students are there at the beginning, then only 5 remain till the end. When enquired in group about the reason, the students say that data is finished and in some areas network is not available. Inability of the financially weaker section to spend much on data and students from remote areas lacking proper network have hampered the online classes. I live in a village and I don’t get proper network for which I have bought Wi-Fi connection however it is not possible for every student to do so.”

Another teacher of a private school said, “We have been trying our best in providing online classes, however, some issues like network connectivity, high data rates and lack of smartphones have been a challenge for students especially from rural areas and weaker financial background. If the network connectivity improves and data packs come in cheaper rates for students, it would have been a boon for the students and parents from the rural villages and areas.”

A resident of the area said, “We have been suffering due to frequent call drops and poor network connectivity.These cellular companies are looting customer instead of improving mobile networks.”

“These companies spend so much capital in advertisements and banners, instead they should invest in setting up new mobile towers, upgrading the existing infrastructure and boosting network for the existing customers.” Said a local youth.

Another local residents said,
“We request the concerned company to kindly resolve this irritating problem, which has become a source of daily headache.”

The people have urged the authorities concerned to take necessary steps to repair the poor mobile towers and improve the mobile connectivity which has become an integral part of one’s life.

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