Kerala has begun the new academic session for its school students across the state, in an effort to continue the education amidst the COVID-19-triggered lockdown.
The State General Education Department commenced the new academic year for schools and colleges on June 1 through the Kerala Infrastructure and Technology for Education (KITE) VICTERS (Versatile ICT Enabled Resources for Students) channel and online mode. The online class was inaugurated by the state Higher Education Minister K T Jaleel.
According to reports, around 45 lakh students in the state-run schools will start their learning through television and online platforms. It said CBSE schools and colleges across the state have also begun their online classes on the same day.
Speaking on the starting of the new session in the state, K Jeevan Babu, Director of Public Instruction (DPI), said, as quoted by TOI,
“We very well know the situation of COVID-19, its spread and how dangerous it is. We need the nod of the centre and the state government to open schools and start regular classes. So the department had decided to start online classes. The classes will be through KITE VICTERS channel.”
It is said that VICTERS channel, which comes under the State General Education Department, will telecast learning sessions for classes 1 to 12. The online sessions, named ‘First Bell’, will be held from 8.30 am to 5.30 pm for all from Monday to Friday for all the classes. Various time slots have been allocated to students of different standards. According to KITE, the time slots for different classes vary from half-an-hour to two hours. The sessions on Victers channel is made available simultaneously on the KITE VICTERS website, mobile app, and social media pages.
Saying that the new method of teaching and learning will be a challenge to the teachers as well as students, Babu added,
“We have entrusted the class teachers and school headmasters or principals to make sure that students have access to a television or a smartphone or a computer, and internet for the classes. If not, they should find an alternative for the students to attend the online class either in real time or later.”
To ensure every student starts learning, the State General Education Department has suggested alternatives including television or internet facilities of neighbours, friends living nearby, libraries or Akshaya centres. The department said that all the classes will be in a downloadable format and can be compiled together and shown to those students who have missed the class later.
It is said that the modules for different classes will be prepared by agencies under the General Education Department such as the State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT), KITE, Samagra Shiksha Kerala (SSK), and the State Institute of Educational Technology.
To attend the live class on VICTERS channel, students need to visit victors.kite.kerala.gov.in. The department said the classes will also be made available on VICTERS YouTube channel after the transmission.