As high speed internet in Kashmir remains under ban, the desperate students and teachers are trying alternative online tools for e-classes.
After the educational institutions were closed last month followingthe COVID-19 outbreak, students and educational institutions across the worldswitched to online classrooms through various online tools. However, in Kashmirall the major online class tools which are highly interactive remaininaccessible to students due to the low speed internet. To tackle the problem,the students and academics are trying alternative online tools that work on lowspeed.
The students and teachers said they were using the onlinetools like 'Google class room', and messaging groups like Whatsapp. "Thesetools are not fully helpful due to low speed, but they compensate to someextent," some students and teachers said.
Many college students and teachers have made Whatsapp groupsand 'Google class room' groups which share text based information and can beexecuted on low speed internet.
"My teacher interacts with our class via Whatsapp group andGoogle class room group to share lectures and answer queries. Video-basedinteractive online class secessions are not possible on low speed internet sowe are using whatever is available," Saima Farooq, an undergraduate studentfrom Srinagar said.
"Since we are not using proper video based online classrooms, our online classes are less interactive and slow. Sharing onlinetutorial videos and subjected material is also very difficult, but we try tomanage somehow rather than to sit idle," she said.
Teachers say that if high speed internet was resumed inKashmir "it will help students a great deal and make it easy for teachers toconduct online classes".
They said so far they were limited to online tools likeGooogle class room and messaging groups due to limited internet access. "Theconventional online channels of education are impossible to access on lowspeed."
"The few tools that as a teacher I use are text based andare more like a social media Whtasapp group. If there would have been highspeed internet, we could have used software like Zoom, Fastmeeting, ezTalkswhich give an interactive platform and a feel of classroom.
"These software provide HD video, audio and Shared Whiteboard which help students stay connected and interact in a proper way. Due tothe low speed we are unable to access those tools that rest of country isaccessing," Sajad Ahmed, a teacher said.