June 4, 2021 2:11:09 am
TO ENSURE that online education of students does not suffer for lack of resources, the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) has decided to extend financial assistance of Rs 500 to each student studying in corporation-run schools to help them purchase a mobile internet connection.
According to NMMC officials, ever since the lockdown started last year, schools run by the municipal corporation have remained closed and classes have moved online. However, since most students in NMMC schools come from lower-middle class families, many do not have the money to purchase an internet connection, they said.
There are around 40,000 students enrolled in the civic body-run schools in Navi Mumbai.
According to the NMMC, it has been observed that while the parents do not possess computers in many cases, most own a basic smartphone. However, due to the inability of the parents to purchase a mobile internet pack, the students were unable to attend the classes, which ultimately affected their education, an official said.
With the new academic session set to start soon, and with no signs of schools reopening, it becomes even more important for the children to have an internet connection, the official added.
“We all know that the third wave is expected in August or September and schools won’t be opening anytime in the near future. So, we are preparing a plan wherein online education will be smooth, and we are encouraging it. But, it has been observed that while imparting online education, parents and students are facing several issues and one of them is internet recharge on their phones,” said NMMC chief Abhijit Bangar.
“We are coming up with many initiatives to enable online schooling and, to begin with, we have decided to solve this basic issue of internet data plan. We have decided that we will provide Rs 500 to them initially for the mobile recharge so that they have access to internet for a minimum of three months,” Bangar added.
Bangar said the corporation is working out a proposal on the disbursal of this amount, which is likely to be deposited in the bank account of the guardians of the students.
He also said that there are around 1,600 students who do not even have mobile phones, and that the corporation is trying to solve this issue as well.
“Providing internet pack is only one of the initiatives. It is not an ultimate solution, but it will enable the corporation to engage all students. We are also in the process of adopting several other practices to start enhancing the online education system. We will introduce them soon,” Bangar said.
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