Poor internet connectivity shadows online classes, many students can’t access classes in Sikkim’s Rural.
Many rural students had to jump from one area to another to get a proper signal so that they could attend classes or submit their assignments online, It’s happening in West and South Sikkim.
Amid the Covid Rising day by day, the government trying all options for education online. But the rural Sikkim has a different story- online education has not got the desired response due to poor internet connectivity in the remote areas of the hilly districts in the state.
In the west district, students have to shift from their homes to another spot to get mobile connectivity to join the online classes. Earlier this month, the locals’ student from the region wrote to the Editor The Sikkim Today asking to bring the issue of proper network connectivity in the age of the Digital Era.
Fourteen-year-old class 10 student from East Sikkim’s rural phoned The Sikkim Today talking about his regular problems with the Editor where he said that due to the lack of mobile network in the village, he has to walk into the roadside where he can get a signal for online classes.
However, the online class is also having problems in urban areas like Tadong where there is no electricity since yesterday. While many are facing the same problem be it power cut in urban and zero networks in Rural, local power, and telecom authorities are finding it tough to integrate high-speed internet facilities. Moreover, people in rural areas have to also deal with the intermittent power supply which is often a hindrance to seamless access.
One of the Students from South Sikkim Shared “Our village is one of the places where basic communication facilities are missing and we have to walk towards the spot to spot at the time where they get signal on their phones. Sometimes it rains when we are outside and we are not able to study. We students are the ones who are suffering the most and our study moods also look like it all vanished”
The situation is similar in the various areas where online classes failed to pick up as most areas do not have network connectivity somehow the guardians are able to purchase smarts phones for their kids but lack of network is made like this only. Unlike the counterparts in an urban place like Gangtok Namchi and Majhitar, most kids use their own smartphone to learn but rural has a different story they depend on their family members’ mobile phones for learning and attending classes, making it an arduous exercise.
Since the starting of the Second wave lockdown, with the aim that each and every child in the Sikkim state is connected to education and regular classes Online, the Sikkim education department started classes through Whatsapp and Google Meets.
Earlier, the State government had ordered the closure of all schools, universities, and educational institutions till June 25. And later the date has been extended till July 30. Students were asked to do online regular classes.
In the era of digitalization, Local IT stakeholders and state governments must work together with the IT and edtech sectors to speed up the process of bringing innovation to rural Sikkim.