The Tamil Nadu government has decided to provide online training to IIT JEE aspirants from government and government-aided schools in the state through a digital platform.
In an official statement released on December 16, 2020, the government stated to have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a private player to provide online training to the aspirants. Training will be given in the subjects like mathematics, physics, and chemistry, which are included in JEE Main and Advanced exams and will be conducted for students appearing for the JEE exams in 2021 as the new academic session is about to start. Registration for the training, which would commence from January 4, 2021, is taking place from December 21 to 31, the statement added.
Though the online initiative is free for these students, the ground reality is that in homes of such students the digital resources are scarce. Many students don’t have smartphones or laptops to attend virtual classes. Nearly 6 lakh students from government and government-aided schools in Tamil Nadu appear for XII exams every year. Since the schools remain closed due to the current pandemic the students of government schools are struggling to have access to their studies. There are several constraints for these students and online classes are just not easy for them.
“JEE examinations are based on classes XI and XII syllabus. However, the government schools have not even started teaching syllabus online. Till now these students are being taught through television channels and not online. Class XII students of these schools have not even touched books and without studying from books it would be difficult for them to understand even if they attend online training for JEE. The government’s initiative to provide online training to IIT JEE aspirants may benefit bright students only,” says Chennai-based educationist Dr S. Somasundaram, an alumnus of Madurai Kamaraj, Bhoj and Periyar universities.
Many families do not have smartphones, let alone computers or laptops.
“We don’t know what is online class. All I understand is my daughter has to write board examinations next year. I want schools to reopen atleast for class XII so that those appearing for boards are able to complete the syllabus,” says a parent Hema whose daughter studies in class XII at Sriperumbudur Government Higher Secondary School, Kanchipuram.
Some parents are clueless as to how their wards are going to benefit from online lessons for IIT-JEE as the families don’t even have proper internet, while others say that how could a subject like mathematics be taught online.
Hema’s daughter Rathna says that our school should focus on providing technology since now we are learning remotely.
As the state is going to polls in May next year, a section even thinks instead of distributing mixers and grinders as freebies to the voters, the government could as well provide laptops with free Wi-Fi to the students so as to enable remote learning. In a political culture that promotes pre-poll freebies, Tamil Nadu is seen as a state that has deftly mastered the art.
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