Virtual classes for Kerala school students from June 1

KITE has even brought out the timetable for conducting the classes

online-class-student-josekutty-panackal A child attends an online class, in Kerala | Josekutty Panackal

The Kerala government will begin virtual classes for school students from June 1, in an effort to ensure that they do not miss out on lessons due to COVID-19 induced lockdown.

Director of Public Instruction (DPI) K. Jeevan Babu said the classes will be through the Kerala Infrastructure and Technology for Education (KITE)-Victers channel under the name 'First Bell'.

"We very well know the situation of COVID-19, its spread and how dangerousit is. We need the nod of the centre and the state government to open schools and start regular classes. So, the department had decided to start online classes. The classes will be through KITE Victers channel," Babu told mediapersons.

KITE has even brought out the timetable for conducting the classes. The sessions will be held from 8.30am to 5.30pm from Monday to Friday for all classes from 1 to 12, except class 11, on the channel.

The time slots for different classes vary from half- an-hour to two hours, a press release issued by KITE said.

"We are not entering into a regular school period. We are unable to open the schools considering the health situation across the world. Our students have even written their tenth and plus two exams under these trying circumstances," Babu said.

The new method of teaching and studying will be a challenge to the teachers as well as students, he added.

He said thedepartment was worried about a section of students who lacked facilities for online classes and had identified over two lakh students in that category.

"We have entrusted the class teachers and school headmasters or principals to make sure that students have access to a television or a smart phone or a computer, and Internet for the classes. If not, they should find an alternative for thestudents to attend the online classe either in real time or later," Babu said.

The department suggested alternatives including television or Internet facilities of neighbours, friends living nearby, libraries or Akshaya centres.

The department also informed that all the classes will be in a downloadable format and can be compiled together and shown to those who have missed the class later.

The sessions on Victers channel will be available simultaneously on the KITE Victers website, mobile app, and social media pages.

The department said in the firstweek, the classes will be telecast on a trial basis and these will be repeated in the second week.

The modules for different classes will be prepared by agencies under the General Education Department such as the State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT), KITE, Samagra Shiksha Kerala (SSK), and the State Institute of Educational Technology.

KITE informed that for the first week at least 1.2 lakh laptops, over 7,000 projectors and nearly 4,545 televisions have been readied for the students.