With online learning emerging as a challenge in Haryana’s Nuh district, where many residents do not have mobile phones or internet, the district administration and education department are working on a plan to impart education to students of Classes IX-XII via loudspeakers, including ones installed at mosques.
District Education Officer (DEO) Anup Singh Jakhar said the department will utilise loudspeakers already installed at schools, but also look further. “Some schools have loudspeakers. Nuh also has many masjids -— some villages have five, others have eight, with loudspeakers already installed. We will contact the maulvis of the masjid closest to the school and coordinate with them to use the loudspeaker for classes, if they can give us some time during the day,” he said.
“In Nuh, most people don’t have mobile phones and internet. We thought why not arrange for our teachers from both government and private schools to teach as per a timetable using loudspeakers, and students can study from their homes,” said Jakhar. He added the department began working on the plan after a recommendation from the district deputy commissioner, Pankaj.
Officials see the locations of schools as a determining factor, admitting that if schools are located away from villages or on main roads, it may be difficult to use loudspeakers to reach students in their homes. In such cases, they said, they will rely on religious places.
To ensure the lessons reach all students, the department is making arrangements for those residing in areas far away from schools or masjids to walk down to homes of students residing closer to the establishments.
The DEO Sunday directed all block education officers to prepare a list of schools in their areas, categorising them into those having loudspeakers, those who can arrange loudspeakers, and those located close to religious places such as temples, masjids and gurudwaras with loudspeakers. The lists had to be submitted by 3 pm Monday. “Schools opened in Haryana from Monday. Teachers have started coming, as per government directives. It will take us a week to plan things to impart lessons using loudspeakers, and expect to start classes using them from next week,” said Jakhar.
While this strategy is being adopted for students of Classes IX-XII, the DEO said that for younger students in Classes I-VIII, the department will continue the concept of ‘mohalla paathshala’, through which it has been teaching children throughout the lockdown. Under this, officials said students from a neighbourhood gather in one place where an older person — a teacher or some educated person, including those who have completed their MA or JBTs — hold classes free of cost.
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