Parents struggle to adjust online classes with limited smart phones

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Imphal: Parents are facing various problems in providing smart phones to their wards to facilitate with the online assignments and lessons provided by schools through Whatsapp during Covid-19 lockdown.

With the initiation of online classes by various schools in wake of Covid-19 the demand for smart phones has been increased. Parents who can afford to buy phones fail to acquire it as smart phones are not available due to lockdown. At the same time parents with low income and those having more children could not afford phones to their children.

“I have been looking for phone tablets for my children to facilitate the online classes from their schools. All the phone shops are closed. When asked to proprietors they reply of stock nil,” Devenkishor Khuraijam, a father of two children studying at Kendriya Vidyalaya School, Lamphel in Class-VIII and IX, told Pothashang.

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He appealed the government to initiate arrangements so that smart phones are available in the state.

In order to meet the objective to provide lessons to students, school authorities have been taking up online services on phones so that students can be given education to some extent as per academic syllabus.

A member of School management committee of Rohini North Eastern School, Yumnam Leikai, Imphal told Pothashang, “The school is sending lessons and question-answers to reach students so as to maintain reading habits of students.”

He said the teachers are instructed to send question and answers to students from class – KG to X according to lesson plans.

“Since the imposition of lockdown till April study materials for two lessons each of every subject for all classes have been sent through Whatssap. Students have to note it down on exercise books and read them. Sending of study materials will be continued, ” he added.

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“Even if my mobile phone outlet is closed consumers from friend circles bought them from my home. Now I have no stock. As there are a lot of demand for smart phones to distributors I am paying advance bill to mobile companies to send phones here,” said Kangjam Dinesh, proprietor of Cell Point, Paona Bazar (channel partner, OPPO).

Before the lockdown, products were brought in by airplanes. Mobile companies are seeking permissions from the government to allow transport of mobile phones by road and the products may soon reach Manipur, he added.

The demand for smart phones is comparatively high during lockdown. This may be due to introduction of online classes, he said.

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“For fear of impact on eyes I never allowed my daughter to play with phones. Now I have to give her a smart phone for her school assignments. I am worried about the impact of using phones like this in the long run,” a mother of a Class VI student from Imphal said.

Education minister Dr. Thokchom Radheshyam on April 14 launched electronic comic textbooks for class III to V students, which can be availed  comic text through www.manipureducation.gov.in.

He informed that the electronic format textbooks for other classes will be soon made available.

Educational institutions have been shut down in wake of Covid-19. The lockdown that began on March 24 has been extended twice in the state.

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