Online school lessons not reaching all students

Parents suggest reducing cost of internet, mobile phones


Although the government introduced television and online school lessons to continue and also catch up with the lost days due to Covid-19 lockdown, it is facing difficulties in achieving daily full attendance.

Currently only 17 percent of the total students attending public schools are attending online lessons while half of the students have access to TV education.

Both teachers and students are facing difficulties to conduct online education due to poverty, high cost and slow speed of internet.

To overcome the crisis, teachers can play a key role in advancing education in this situation, many experts suggested. They can go to the student’s home with homework and take it back later.

Speakers came up with these suggestions while addressing a virtual seminar titled ‘Student’s education during Covid-19 and what teachers should do’ organised by Bangladesh Teachers Association on Monday evening.

Dr Syed Md Golam Faruk, Director General of Directorate of Secondary & Higher Education said, “Many people think that the issue of conducting education online and distance learning is temporary. When corona is over, they will return to their previous learning system. But the World Health Organization has already said that the situation could continue for two years.”

“Therefore, teachers must be accustomed to distance learning and online education. Besides, we have to innovate other ways to provide services to the students,” he added.

KM Enamul Haque, deputy director of Campaign for Popular Education, said, “The main concern of education in case of emergency is the safety of the students. The first day admission of class XI [on Sunday] proved that is not possible to give the protection to the students. Not all things are tested. So, you have to think before reopening the school experimentally.” 

“According to the Prime Minister's Office-centric project ‘access to information (A2I)’, only 17 percent students are getting involved in online education. Half of the total students are being involved in learning through TV lessons. Rest of the students are deprived of this learning system. So, school education is facing huge crisis during the corona period,” he said.

Dr Abdul Malek, Professor of University of Dhaka, said, “Maintaining the education system during the corona period is a big challenge. For this, the help of online and television media is widely sought. It is necessary to identify the obstacles and take steps to eliminate them.”

Professor Dr Abdus Salam said that it is important to fix the mental health of the students during corona period. For this, they need to be counseled. 

Professor Fouzia Rezwan, Principal of Viqarunnisa Noon School and College's said, “There is a disparity between urban and rural in virtual education activities. This inequality must be eliminated. Otherwise the students will be disappointed. This will be a big loss in education.”

Mustaq Ahmed, President of Education Reporters Association Bangladesh, said, “While the Ministry of Primary and Mass Education says that 65 percent students are involved in television learning, the Directorate of Secondary and Higher Education says that it is 93 percent. This is highly confusing.”

Teachers from remote areas also joined the program. 

According to them, the price of internet is one of main obstacles in online education. It is very important to reduce it. 

In addition, to continue this education, it is necessary to arrange laptops, tabs, mobiles and other equipment at much cheaper cost. Otherwise, poor people will drop out of schools.

Member of National Education Policy 2010 Formulation Committee Kazi Faruk Ahmed inaugurated the programme. Hosne Ara Begum, president of the Bangladesh Teachers Association, presided over the function.