With schools closed due to the lockdown to curb the spread of Covid-19, each chapter in the syllabuses of classes 6 to 12 of government-run schools in Bihar is being explained to students through recorded videos in which animation has been used to make the lessons more comprehensive.
While several private schools have been conducting classes over Zoom and Google platforms, the recorded videos of one-hour duration are being telecasted on DD Bihar daily for students of state-run schools. In the one hour-slot, a video each for at least three subjects are shown. The study material has been designed under the state government’s flagship programme of “Unnayan Bihar” — a video rendition of school texts taught in smart classes of selected schools in Bihar.
According to the parents of several students, a major drawback of this model is that it is non-interactive and the content is basic. Also, there is no system to know how many students are attending these classes.
While the state education department is also holding Facebook live classes for students of classes 6 to 8 between 10 am and 2 pm daily, not many students have been attending them. While more than 50 lakh students are enrolled in classes 6 to 8 in state-run schools, not more than 400 students are attending the live sessions.
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Ruby Kumari, one of 18 teachers conducting the Facebook live classes through the page Teachers of Bihar, said, “Amid the lockdown, Facebook live classes are surely creating a buzz. We are enthused at the response of students. It is just a matter of time that the number of students rises.”
Abishek Kumar, the spokesperson for Bihar Secondary School Teachers’ Association, said, “A recent survey suggested that less than 10 per cent students have smartphones at their homes in Bihar. There is no replacement for classroom teaching. The government should now start classes in two shifts or on alternative days.”
Ravindra Kumar, who lives at Tarapur in Munger, said his son, a class 7 student, hardly watches the educational videos on DD Bihar. “Only school can inculcate discipline.”
The Bihar Education Project Council’s state project director Sanjay Kumar told The Indian Express, “We are currently using the content of Unnayan Bihar. We are trying to remodel and enrich the content and expand the timing of video classes. We are also starting video courses for students of classes 1 to 5.”
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