This refers to “E-learning to be new normal as govt plans TV channel for schoolkids” (May 18). The PM e-Vidya channels for classes I to XII needs careful re-thinking. There are multiple reasons for this. For one, availability of television screens in families. Many middle class homes cannot afford to have more than one TV even if there is more than one school-going child. How can both or all children attend the classes with one TV unless the classes are staggered. How multiple subjects would be covered when poor families find it difficult to access text books and/or smartphones with latest technology is another big question.
The government seems to be adopting shortcuts to keep children away from real schools and teachers as they know the poor state of the majority of our government schools (central or state). It does not want to engage more teachers and support staff to run the schools post-Covid unlike in China (with huge population like India) which is engaging more staff to manage the children. E-learning for college and university students might not be a bad idea but they also need a physical teacher to take them through not only classroom lessons but life lessons as well. The online-centric plans and programmes should not spoil the growth of the next generation in the name of the pandemic when the PM himself has accepted that we will have to live with the virus.
N Nagarajan Secunderabad
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