BAN ON HIGH-SPEED INTERNET | Unable to take online classes, teachers start 'school' inside forest area in Pulwama

Amid the erratic internet service in the district, a group of teachers from a government school here have started taking classes of students in a nearby forest area.

The students from Chak Badrinath village, surrounded by forests from two sides, walk on foot every day to reach the forest area at 9 in the morning.

The classes continue till 1 pm and during the period the teachers ensure proper social distancing among students while teaching them.

A teacher said since erratic and slow-speed internet service was making it impossible to take online classes regularly, they decided to start the classes in the forest area to save the academic year of the students.

“We were also not able to teach these students as most of them are poor and can’t afford to buy android phones. Besides, most of the time, the internet remains suspended in the district,” said another teacher, Khurshid Ahmad Bhat.

He said they were strictly adhering to all the guidelines including maintaining social distancing, use of masks and hand sanitizers to keep students safe.

“Though government has not ordered opening of the schools, it was our moral responsibility to take the steps to save career of the students” said another teacher.

The students said they were dejected since they could not avail online classes during the lockdown. “We couldn’t attend even a single online class for several weeks due to the erratic internet supply. But the teachers have shown great love and care for us and came up with this idea to teach us,” said a student, Aijaz Ahmad.

The education department has also appreciated the steps taken by the teachers. “I visited the spot and I was surprised to see the students studying in a very good atmosphere with all necessary steps taken in view of COVID19 pandemic” said Chief Education Officer, Pulwama, Gulzar Ahmad.

He said the teachers have shown their “ability and passion.” “We appreciate the steps taken by them “ Ahmad said.