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Karnataka to set up ‘mobile banks’ to help students access online classes

Prime News, State (Bengaluru), July 10:- Karnataka Education Minister S Suresh Kumar was once again reminded by students in a video conference on Friday, July 9, that access to internet connection and devices like smartphones and tablets for online classes remains an issue in the state. After the meeting, the Minister announced that the Karnataka government is planning to establish ‘mobile banks’, to help provide internet devices to students who need them.

A discussion will be held on the modalities of the ‘mobile bank’ on Monday, July 12, Minister Suresh Kumar said. He added that voluntary organisations like Rotary International and Lions Club will be roped in to help establish them and collect spare smartphones and other devices like tablets to be used by students in need. “These banks will help ensure gadgets reach students who do not have access to them. We are also planning to have a meeting with service providers of internet companies to see how the network can be improved in remote areas,” he said.

A survey released by the Department of Public Instruction last week had found that 33% of the 93.01 lakh students surveyed in the state did not have access to mobile phones, tablets, computers or any other devices that they require to attend online classes. 40% of the students— more than 37 lakh students in total— do not have access to the internet connection, the survey found.

Unlike their counterparts studying in private schools, students in government schools in Karnataka have had minimal online classes during the pandemic. Instead, the government broadcast classes on television, on the DD Chandana channel, last year. In the recent survey, it was found that only 9.3% of the students in the state did not have a radio or television.

The examinations for students in class 10 in state syllabus schools are set to go ahead on July 19 despite a public interest litigation filed in the Karnataka High Court against it, S Suresh Kumar said. (MR, Inputs: Agencies).

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