In the wake of the COVID-19 breakout, Krantikari Yuva Sangathan (KYS), a student group- solicits the Ministry of HRD to make online learning a voluntary practice.
Krantikari Yuva Sangathan (KYS)- a student led group with many of the members comprising of Delhi University’s School of Open Learning (DUSOL), has urged in writing to the Ministry of Human Resources and Development (MHRD) to oppose the resort to online teaching amidst the shutting down of educational institutions, owing to the nation wide lockdown due to massive spread of the COVID-19.
While talking about the motive behind the said action, Harish Gautam, Delhi State Committee Member of the KYS told DU Beat that, “Online education is not a substitute for classroom teaching and it’s accessible only among those students who have the said resources. While a big majority not only in Delhi but across the country faces difficulties with regards to access of the online learning facility, it’s imperative that it’s not made into a mandatory practice, therefore classroom teaching should be conducted as soon as the lockdown is lifted and the online mode should be made voluntary.”
“One of the most important problems with online teaching is that the majority of the students do not have access to the internet. If in case the internet is available, there are the problems of bandwidth and speed,” said the KYS in a statement to highlight the crux of their resolution.
The student group posits the disparity of access to technology across demographics as a noteworthy problem which relates to digital divide and inequality. The resources required for online classes are not spread evenly throughout the student class. While showing apprehension, Vinitha, a first year student at Kamala Nehru College who is from a small village in Thakurla of Pali district said, “I haven’t attended a single online lecture due to the constant irregularities of network operations in my village. I am completely on my own with the reading materials and lack of assertiveness about the further exam dates just adds on to my stress.”
The official press release issued by the KYS also hinted towards a relaxation in terms of extension of academic session to requite for the loss learning which happened. Harish Gautam in the press release said, “The extension of academic sessions and semester would not be a loss for any institution, since all of them would be conducting the entrance examinations for the next session at the same time,”
To heed to the problems of students facing network issues and some teachers who don’t get a hang of technology enabled services, an inclusive idea of making online teaching a voluntary method is a concern which needs to be attended to.
Featured image credits: Facebook page of KYS