Just 15 km from Smart City Bhubaneswar, students perch on trees for online classes

Bhubaneswar: Instances of students facing difficulties for online classes owing to poor mobile network and internet service are being reported from rural Odisha quite often. But the peculiar scenes of students perching themselves on tree branches on the outskirts of Smart City Bhubaneswar reveal the ground reality of online education during the COVID-19 crisis.

Only 15 kilometres away from the state capital,  students of Chudangagada, Chunukoli, Bangali Basti, Andharua, Bhalunka, Godibari, Gaintala, Jhumuka and Adibasi Sahi near Deras within and around Chandaka-Dampara Wildlife Sanctuary are struggling hard for online classes, thanks to poor internet service.  With no other option, while some children climb trees, others move to hills everyday to attend online classes. Putting their lives at risk, they sit on tree branches balancing their body or on the heights to get stable mobile network, said a local.

Seeing the students’ struggle for education, few young volunteers came forward to extend help. Using their personal internet data, the youths download videos and documents sent by the schoolteachers during online class and also teach the students through their mobile phones and laptops.

Volunteers Pradeep Murmu,  Rajendra Nachika, Hem Singh, Madhi Tudu and their team  also sometime visit door-to-door to help the kids in their studies. However, it is not possible to reach out to all students, said one of the volunteers.

Earlier, issues of poor mobile network posing great difficulty for students during online classes have been reported  from remote and interior districts like Kalahandi, Kandhamal, Malkangiri, Koraput, Jharsuguda and Ganjam,


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