Kolkata: With classes suspended in educational institutions across West Bengal due to the COVID-19 pandemic since March end, the Students Federation of India (SFI) has started a survey to elicit views of general students about the efficacy of online classes.
SFI state committee leader Shubhajit Sarkar said on Saturday that as part
of the survey, it is planning to reach at least 5,000 students in urban and rural areas across the state in a month's time.
Sarkar said SFI, the student wing of the Communist party of India (Marxist), had already reached out to 650 students for the online survey where the respondent has been asked to reply to certain queries about his/her accessibility to the net and smartphone.
"The students have been asked in English and Bengali whether they have permanent and strong Net connectivity, whether they use broadband WiFi or mobile WiFi and if they are comfortable with the new system where internet takes the predominant role in their academic activities," Sarkar told PTI.
Some other questions which are to be ticked yes/no are if the students had to attend online classes during this lockdown, what was their experience, if they had to buy internet data packs and whether with money of parents, their pocket money or money by some well-wisher or near ones.
"We are trying to assess how the online class system has impacted the student community as a whole, as a large number of them live in far flung rural areas and hail from poor economic profile. Once the survey, which began four-five days ago, is over, our experts will analyse the trend and accordingly we will take up the issue with authorities in educational institutions and government," he said.
Jadavpur University Vice-chancellor Prof Suranjan Das had earlier said the online classes could not be availed by a large segment of students who live in remote areas of the state and have poor network connectivity. Besides, many students don't have the wherewithal to entirely shift to online learning mode for financial reasons.
Keeping in mind this situation, the JU was not thinking about asking all the final semester students to sit for online exams and considering if home examination with answer sheets and question paper despatched to home could be an option in this year, another JU official had said.
The Chairman of Expert Committee to examine Curriculum Syllabus and Text Books, Prof Aveek Majumder, said: "Education minister Partha Chatterjee is already thinking on of ways to reach out classrooms to every student in the best possible way in the given situation when attending classes physically is not possible, as of now."