The excitement that marks the first day of the new school year was missing as the academic session for 2020-21 got off to an unconventional start in Kerala on Monday with students logging on to the online mode from their homes in a new chapter for the school education system.
The classes available on KITE Victers channel and other online mechanisms began with a message by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan reminding students of education’s new normal where, owing to COVID-19 restrictions, conducting traditional classes was out of the question. As the virus was here to stay for some time, one had to learn to live with it. To ensure that students’ education did not suffer, the State General Education Department had facilitated classes for them through the KITE Victers channel and online too.
The e-learning mechanism may not seem complete owing to limited possibilities for interaction between the student, teachers, and the school environment. However, it was necessary to equip students for resumption of school activities at a later stage, the Chief Minister said.
Mr. Vijayan promised all arrangements for students to access the e-classes. Teachers had been asked to ensure that no student was deprived of them. Parents too should make sure that their wards were benefiting from the sessions. The classes were a new model in the teaching-learning process, Mr. Vijayan said.
The online classes are available on Victers channel through the cable network and a couple of direct-to-home service providers.
Available on Facebook
They are also available live on the portal www.victers.kite.kerala.gov.in and on Facebook (facebook.com/victerseduchannel). These will also be available on the Victers YouTube channel youtube.com/itsvicters after transmission.
Nearly 2.6 lakh to 3 lakh of the 43 lakh schoolchildren in the State are estimated by the General Education Department to have no access to television with cable connection or phones or computers with Internet. However, the government tried to allay all concerns saying hurdles would be wrinkled out in a matter of days through a mobilisation of resources.
The online classes, it clarified, were not a replacement for the teaching-learning process in schools; rather a way to engage students in academic activities.