Learning gaps in online classes affect Plus One students, finds survey

Low-speed internet, absence of interactive learning among issues

Students in Plus One classes continue to face learning and digital gaps amidst the ongoing online classes, according to a survey on higher education scenario in pandemic times carried out by the State chapter of the All India Students’ Association (AISA).

Many students were staring at low-speed internet and lack of financial resources to recharge mobile devices used for accessing online sessions. Insufficient data pack and poor connectivity remain a major hurdle for several students, especially those belonging to the economically weaker sections of society, pointed out the survey.

Students in select 11 government schools in the State responded to the survey held in the last week of June. “The students were able to download only a section of the learning material shared online due to insufficient data pack. The authorities were trying to bridge the digital divide by making available digital tools and infrastructure. However, the question is whether students belonging to economically weaker families and the marginalised sections have the financial resources to utilise these tools,” said Zeon Mendez, member of AISA, who had interacted with the students.

Students have reported gaps in the learning outcome too. The lack of interactive learning remains a concern as teachers were also often under pressure to complete portions under the demanding situation. “It is evident while learning subjects like Maths that have concepts requiring interaction with teachers. Those who have come from a Malayalam medium background were finding it difficult to follow the new curriculum taught in English,” they said.

The decision to hold Plus One exams in September has added to the stress of students as they have to attend Plus Two sessions and prepare for Plus One exams. Students said that they will have to defer writing of notes and assignments in Plus Two classes as considerable time was needed to prepare for Plus One exams.

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