Srinagar: The initiative of holding community classes by the School Education Department has gained momentum as over 1,86,677 students from government and private schools have attended the community classes at 4842 locations across Kashmir.
The initiative of holding community classes was taken by the government to reach out to the students who lack access to the internet and smartphones and thus remain unavailable for online classes.
As per the official figures, till July 15, the number of students from government schools attending community classes is 1,80,407 while around 6270 students from different private schools have also availed the facility of the School Education Department.
The official figures state that south Kashmir’s Anantnag district has witnessed participation of around 42,579 students from government as well as private schools which is highest among all the districts.
Anantnag is followed by Baramulla district with a participation of 39,032 students in community classes
Pulwama district has witnessed participation of around 20,634 students at 487 locations where the department has established a community or open-air school for the students.
“Around 19,889 students attended community classes in Bandipora while 19,395 students attended in Kupwara, 16,453 in Kulgam, 408 in Srinagar, 9529 in Budgam, and 8092 in Ganderbal,” the official figures reveal.
The department has also engaged around 30,620 teachers from government schools for conducting community classes for the students who do not remain accessible for online classes.
The teachers are holding community classes along with online classes through Learning Management System (LMS) for the students who are available online through various digital platforms. The teachers are actively participating in the community classes to benefit the students and prevent their academic losses.
“Community classes or open-air classes are one of the best initiatives taken by the department to narrow the gap of academic loss during the ongoing pandemic. It was the need of the hour to engage students by any means,” said Umar Rashid Bhat, a teacher from Chandoosa zone of Baramulla district.
Citing non-availability of smart phones for students, he said online classes were not possible for all the students to get connected to their teachers.
“Open air classes are the best initiative to physically engage the students. But in some places, low attendance of the students is a matter of concern. We need to mobilise all the stakeholders for maximum participation,” he said.
Due to the prolonged closure of educational institutions, the students are not connected with their school, which is considered a cause of worry.
“The children at home are suffocating. There are no substitutes to the school environment. Each day is the same for them and this results in boredom which can be disastrous during the young age,” Bhat said.
For holding community classes for the students, the teachers, as per the government orders, need not report to their schools to deliver the classes but can do so from their residences.