Rangpur Online School stepped in one month on Saturday as the school began its journey on April 9 of the current year in a bid to minimise the academic loses amid the virtual lockdown due to global pandemic Covid- 19.
Marking the one month of the school, the school authorities have taken elaborate programs such as seminar, discussion on education, and interview with noted educationists, education officials and students.About 40 million students in all types of educational institutions are now staying at home. Of them, 17.5 million are primary level students. Secondary level students are over 10 million. Over one million teachers and other school personnel have been confined to homes to curb the spread of coronavirus.
Academic activities of the students are being severely hampered as the educational institutions remained closed due to Covid- 19 pandemic.
Under this situation, the government has taken alternative measures shifting to online platform from the traditional mode of face to face teaching to recover academic losses.
The Directorate of Secondary and Higher Education (DSHE) in coordination with Access to Information (A2I) project have begun the academic classes through Sangsad Bangladesh Television. The TV is telecasting recorded classes of the best teachers for students of class VI to class X during the shutdown due to coronavirus outbreak. The classes are being telecasted between 9am and 9pm
A number of online schools from eight divisions across the country have also been operating the academic activities.
A DSHE Director, Professor Sirajul Islam said the programme has been taken to reduce the academic losses of the students. The online schools are also making significant contribution to education during the crisisRangpur Online School launched the academic activities on April 9 with some dedicated and promising teachers and staff.
Head Teacher, Kaligonj KUP School Khurshiduzzaan Ahamed who was also admin of Rangpur Online School’s page said, “We have adopted alternative option of academic activities for the students as there is no scope of face to face learning now.”
“Initially, we the ICT4E district Ambassadors under A21 of eight districts in Rangpur division joined a web-based ZOOM meeting on April 9 and decided to launch Rangpur Online School considering the deadlock situation of the academic activities of the students.”
“We maintained a class routine from Primary to Higher Secondary level. The classes are telecasted between 9am to 9pm from Rangpur Online School’s Facebook page. Live and recorded classes of the renowned teachers of different subjects are also aired and uploaded in the School page. The post of the page reach to 2.04796 and the engagement is 113,996 viewers,” he added.
Mohammad Shahajan, a guardian of a student, said students and the guardians get suggestions from the teachers of different schools attending the live and recorded classes in the digital platform amid the general holiday.’’
Rifa Khatun, a student of class Nine of Police Lines School & College, Rangpur said, “They are getting benefit attending the Sangsad Television classes and the Rangpur Online School staying at home.”
A21 official Avijit Sha informed that digitalisation in Bangladesh creates the scope of online schooling. And he appreciated the efforts of Rangpur Online School.
He also said the teachers who are attending the classes going to studio of Sangsad TV or to digital platforms [different online schools across the country] amid the pandemic of Covid-19 deserve great thanks and gratitude.
Dhaka University Institute of Education and Research (IER) Prof Dr Mohammad Ali Jinnah said the effort of online schooling is good. But it is not the alternative of formal schooling. Most of the students in the country are underprivileged who will not get access to the online platform. Attending online classes on a regular basis has a cost implication and students have to bear the cost of internet services. Teachers, Students and guardians are not provided the internet service at free of costs or subsidised data packs.
According to Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics' Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey of 2019 only 37.6 percent of households in the country have access to the internet by any device from home. It also found only 5.6 percent of households have a computer or tablet.