New Classes Of Kerala's "First Bell" From Today
First bell, Kerala government's virtual classes initiative, will resume today with fresh classes.
First bell, Kerala government's virtual classes' initiative, will resume today with fresh classes. The virtual sessions, organised by the Kerala State General Education Department, for Classes 1 to 12 on weekdays, had trial run from June 1 as the schools and educational institutions have been closed in the state since March in view of arresting the spread of coronavirus. At least 45 lakh students in Kerala began attending virtual classes based on the time table brought out by the Kerala Infrastructure and Technology for Education (KITE).
The virtual classes, which are being organised in a bid to ensure that students do not miss out on lessons due to the COVID-19 crisis, are available through VICTERS Channel which is broadcasting under the supervision or State General Education Department along with its website, app and its social media pages.
The government has also decided to include English subtitles for students from English medium as well as classes for Urudu, Sanskrit and Arabic when the online classes return for the second phase.
In the first phase, the subscriber base of YouTube.com/itsvicters, Victers' Youtube channel, reached nearly 10 lakh while Victers mobile app witnessed over 16.5 lakh downloads from the Google Play Store, reported The Hindu.
Huge gadget sales
Kerala witnessed huge gadget sales due to the announcement of online or TV-based classes for school and college students.
"90 per cent of the sales happened in last ten days are either related to educational or teaching. There was a flurry of footfall in gadget shops across the state which was related to the virtual class announcement made by the government," says Anees Mangalya, Managing Director, Mangalya Group, an Alappuzha-based business group.
"There were all sort of social groups among the buyers; Poor, middle class and rich," says Mr Anees who is also an office-bearer of a traders' organisation in the district.
In most areas where students are found without facilities for the virtual classes, various political groupings and Non-Governmental Organisations came to the rescue of the students.
Students' Federation of India (SFI) alone collected 3,228 Television sets from across Kerala through its "First Bell TV Challenge".
"In our area, in Aliparamba panchayat, we were able to gather and distribute more than 20 Television sets among students from various social groups. After we noticed hiccups in the trial run, we were able to come up this distribution process so that the education activities should not be stopped," says Afzal Ali, an IUML activist from Malappuram district while adding that the students' organisation was involved in the distribution process across the state.
An estimated 2.5 lakh students in the state did not have access to either a TV or devices that can access the internet when the First Bell programme began in the first week of June.
Officials had said that mostly those from backward or marginalized sections faced this issue.
The government, then, decided to work towards viewing centres or giving laptops to small groups with help from sponsors.
A Class 10 student ended her life in Valanchery, Malappuram district, on June 1 after the virtual classes began, allegedly because she did not have access to the classes.
"The family was financially very strained and the girl was worried she would not be able to study further, or that her studies would be affected. Initial reports suggest she was upset about not having access to the TV or online classes since they started," a senior police official told NDTV.