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Views & Reviews

The Struggle is Real, Not Reel

By EMN Updated: Sep 03, 2020 11:29 pm

Online Classes/Exam Vs Rural Students

We’ve heard enough of Covid-19 and it’s impact on society. It has directly or indirectly affected everyone of us. As we are well aware that Covid-19 pandemic has changed the education system all around the world, and there’s no explanation needed on this. On the directives of the government, educational institutions have come up with New Digital channels for teaching and learning process, and of course the new online exam methods.

The world is fast changing with latest technologies, but it is unfortunate that many students in our community are still struggling for basic needs.
I am a student myself, and the experience with online classes and online exam for the past few months is indeed very discouraging (personally).

There are frequent power cuts, and the the network is terrible. I want to narrate one of my experiences: My online classes started on 15th June, but I’ve attended countable number of classes so far. Online exam started on 10th August 2020, and since the start of exam I recorded the number of days without electricity in my locality. There was a power cut from:

-7th to 11th August (5 days)
-17th to 25th August (9 days)
-31st Aug to 3rd Sep (3 days and still counting)

All our power back ups, inverters, batteries run out of energy within a day or two. I live in a not so small Village under Mon District, and the story is pretty similar to many other villages. It is almost impossible to appear the ongoing exam and online classes without power supply. All thanks to our small solar panels and church generator for saving the lives of some students in my village. These are my personal struggles, but I’ve learnt and witnessed enough that hundreds and thousands of students are facing similar untold miseries in search of education. This writeup is not just one man’s cry, but I believe it represents more students who are genuinely struggling. One wise decision form the concerned authority could have lessened the number of struggling students atleast by few margins.

Many of the students in the villages live without a mobile phone, and it is just a dream to think about laptop and other electronic gadgets. (Let me not get into the Pendrive decision by government of Nagaland.) Amidst all these struggles, some colleges (quite understandably) ask for a screenshot of internet speed test from student’s device(s). It seems like the the concerned authority and the government is trying to overlook the problems of some struggling students. I believe we are aware that the impact of the “New Normal” is more severe on the disadvantaged students in rural areas, which is causing interruption in learning and the inability to appear exam due to number of hindrances like poor/’Near No’ internet service, unavailability of electronic devices, mobile phones, and irregular electricity. Not all students live in a comfortable home with cozy sofas, WiFi connection, and luxurious power backup, but students in the villages are the most vulnerable ones to this environment.

I am well aware that the government and the teachers in particular are serving our people with great concerns. We are grateful to each one of you for what you are doing for us. Nonetheless, as a responsible citizen I would like to raise the long existing issue once again and also urge all the student organisations to take up this issue once again. And an appeal to the Electric Department and various Telecom Companies (especially Jio and Airtel) to kindly focus on the network condition in villages too, not only in towns and cities.

As we continue to collectively try to adapt to the “new normal”, let us not forget the unfortunate ones who are stressed with online method of learning and online Exams. Perhaps for people living in cities for ages haven’t experienced the poor network, so in some situations it may seem like many students are faking the network issue and reeling their make up stories. But I want to affirm that the struggle is Real, and not REEL.

The Covid-19 pandemic has created a truly unprecedented situation which affects us all directly or indirectly. It is my prayer that this crisis will be resolved soon and we will all be able to resume all the activities. Let us overcome this with prayers.
(This letter is in not to be regarded as a complaint, but only as an appeal)

E. Echu Konyak

By EMN Updated: Sep 03, 2020 11:29:33 pm