The education sector continues to be hit in Jammu and Kashmir due to non-availability of proper internet services.
The J&K government ordered closure of educational institutions on March 12 due to Covid, the institutions shifted to online mode of education to compensate the academic losses of the students during the closure period.
“The universities and colleges have prepared e-content and video lectures which are uploaded on the university website and of the colleges but the students are not able to access the websites given the 2G internet speed,” said a college Professor.
Also, the school teachers uploaded video lectures on Youtube. But the efforts did not bear any fruits for the students.
Apart from this, the students are facing difficulties in applying for national level competitive exams as the website doesn’t run on slow speed internet.
“Generally, the low speed internet has immensely affected the students who rely on the digital mode of learning. Since the 4G speed was curtailed in JK by the government the student community suffered the most,” said Sanna Bhat, an undergraduate student from Budgam.
Another student said she faced numerous problems while submitting her application form for CGL.
“I had to go for innumerable attempts to get my application form successfully completed due to low internet speed. I got frustrated due to the pesky internet speed that has been irritating the students. We are subjected to mental trauma,” the student said.
Internet services, landline and mobile phones were snapped across Jammu and Kashmir on the eve of Centre’s announcement to scrap special Constitutional status of the state on August 5, 2019. Recently, the government restored high speed internet services in Ganderbal and Udhampur districts but the curbs continue in other 18 districts.
The curbs on high speed internet continues at a time when the students are preparing for various national level competitive exams and entrances. The students are also preparing for the PG entrance test of Kashmir University which commenced on Wednesday. Also, the JKBOSE is also planning to hold the annual exams of class 10th, 11th and 12th students in November. The students have not been able to cover the required portion of syllabus during the closure period due to curbs on high speed internet.
“Keeping in view the interest of the students, it is the need of the hour to restore the 4G internet services in J&K so that academics of students doesn’t suffer,” Sanna said.
Besides students, teachers are equally disappointed with the continuous curbs on the high speed internet in J&K saying that in absence of 4G network it was a tough task for the teachers to teach their students when a shift from normal schooling to online line classes was initiated by the authorities amid Covid 19 pandemic.
“The applications launched by MHRD like e-Pathshala developed by CIET, NCERT, e-Contents, DIKSHA app, e-gayankosh, etc. are just a dream for our students as all these apps are hard to access on 2G network,” said Umar Bhat, a teacher from Baramulla district.
He said it becomes a tedious task for a teacher to connect the students through virtual mode of teaching via Zoom application while the Learning Management System (LMS) initiated by the J&K government also nailed dust due to non-availability of 4G network.
“The contents which a teacher needs to upload on this website couldn’t get possible on 2G network and finally it is closed till date. Even a student isn’t able to access Youtube to see any video lecture of his/her topic,” he said.
Another teacher lamented that the slow speed internet plays a spoilsport in making the online system of education a success. “Once the student intake in the class goes up either the connection snaps or it works at such slow speed that it is impossible for students to understand what is going on in the class. Restoration of 4G internet at this stage is a must because exams are about to start,” said Shabir Ahmad, a teacher.