The start of televised classes for school students from Sunday last makes quite a sense. At a time when schools are closed and people in most parts of the country are confined to their homes in order to stay safe from coronavirus infection, such classes will not only keep students occupied but also engaged in the learning process. Classes are telecast, for understandable reasons, on the Sangsad TV. Now that the Jatiya Sangsad cannot hold session, it can be spared for televising recorded classes. This is however not for the first time that classes are being televised. But the circumstances and context are totally different from televised classes in a normal time. This time the compulsion is to stem the unlearning process that may set in due to long layoff as well as make up for as much loss of learning on account of unscheduled and unforeseen suspension of academic activities as possible. Also staying home long for young learners is unbearably boring. Now these classes taken by teachers of the city's reputed schools should prove more attractive than anytime before to students.
No doubt, students of village schools in particular will consider this opportunity as a blessing. They will become familiar with the high standard of class teaching. But selection of chapters or lessons of a particular subject will prove highly important. Already two and a half months of the new academic year has passed and village schools are mostly laggards whereas the city's reputed schools began their lessons right from the start. If teachers imparting lessons at city schools begin from where they left off before the closure, rural students may find it difficult to follow lessons of a few chapters ahead. On the other hand, students of city schools will find the classes not very useful if classes start on chapter one of each subject. Also a right decision on lessons cannot be taken when there is uncertainty over the reopening of schools.
In this context, the other crucial issue is the exclusion of class X. Even students from Class VI to IX are not receiving lessons on all their subjects. Subjects like mathematics, physics, accounting have not been brought under the TV programme. These are very important subjects for students of the respective discipline. Loss of classes for Class IX and X students will prove highly costly if the closure is prolonged on account of coronavirus. Then the problem facing parents of primary school students is of a different nature. The tiny toddlers cannot be confined indefinitely. Parents have to be extraordinarily inventive in order to keep them busy or quiet.
Finally, in emergencies like this it is wise to make the best use of the available resources. An online option would have been much better but personal computers, laptops and internet facilities are a far cry when even television sets are absent in all students' home in villages. Even in villages neighbours may not allow students who have no such gadget at home to attend classes with their own children. Such poor students with no television sets may be deprived of this opportunity. The option is to make an alternative arrangement for such students, maintaining the norm of social distancing.
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