January 17, 2022 3:49:35 am
From Monday, primary school teachers across Bihar will visit the houses of students in classes 1-5 who have no smartphones, PCs, tablets or laptops at home.
With Covid-19 cases continuing to rise, the state government has decided to start broadcasting classes on Doordarshan for classes 6-12. These students, as well as students in primary school, will also get access to online learning, with the government telling principals to start classes through WhatsApp groups and other online platforms. Principals and teachers have also been told to help those students in classes 1-5 who do not have the means to access the Internet from home by conducting house visits.
Bihar has more than 75,000 government schools, in which a total of more than 3.5 crore students are enrolled.
Additional chief secretary (education) Sanjay Kumar made the announcement in a letter to all district magistrates, district education officers and district programme officers in the state on Friday.
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Kumar said in his letter that school principals should engage teachers to guide and teach students through WhatsApp groups, and that other online platforms such as Zoom, Google Meet and Microsoft Teams could also be used.
He said principals and teachers should seek the help of around 28,000 shikshak sevaks — who create awareness about education — for holding visits to the houses of students who do not have access to devices that connect to the Internet. During such visits, teachers and shiksha sevaks have been asked to comply with Covid-appropriate behaviour.
According to rough estimates, around 1 crore primary school students have no access to digital devices.
A functionary with Bihar’s primary school teachers’ association said: “It is nearly impossible to cover all students without digital devices in home tuition drive. But we will surely give it a try. Another area of concern is Covid cases now spreading to suburban towns and villages rapidly.”
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