Secondary students’ TV classes go on air today
Authorities are all set to provide education to secondary students through television from today, aiming to minimise the loss of the academic session due to closure of educational institutions.
Authorities of the Directorate of Primary Education said that they also took the decision on principle to provide education to students through television, and are taking necessary preparations.
Many guardians welcomed the government move to broadcast recorded lectures of renowned teachers for students from Class VI to Class X through Sangsad Television.
They, however, were skeptical about the effectiveness of the mode of transmission.
The Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) 2019 of Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics shows that 50 percent households of the country do not have television sets.
"We will start broadcasting classes of students of Class VI to X through Sangsad TV from March 29 [today]," secondary and higher education secretary Mahbub Hossain told The Daily Star.
Directorate of Secondary and Higher Education (DSHE) Director General Prof Syed Md Golam Faruk said they took the initiative to minimise lapse of studies due to closure of educational institutions following the coronavirus pandemic.
He said that they have contacted Sangsad TV and have recorded lectures of renowned teachers of respective subjects to air the lecture.
DSHE also uploaded a routine for five days on its web site. On the first day, English class for sixth-graders will be aired from 9:05am till noon. The classes will be repeated from 2pm to 5pm every day.
According to the DSHE official, there are about 90 lakh students currently enrolled in sixth to tenth grades in schools across the country.
The government on March 16 closed down all schools till March 31 and on Tuesday extended the closure till April 9. Several DSHE officials said with the Covid-19 situation evolving every day, this closure might be prolonged.
They said in an almost lockdown situation, it is critical to provide help to children at home, who are turning restless in home confinement. Such class work might bring them some relief, their parents as well as other caregivers.
Prof Shahedul Khabir Chowdhury, director (college and administration) of DSHE, said if the programme is successful, the government will consider airing lecture for students of 11th and 12th grade soon.
Parliament Secretariat Broadcasting and Information Technology Wing Director General Ashok Kumar Debnath, who oversees Sangsad Television, told this newspaper earlier this week that they are ready to start broadcasting the lecture.
"They [DSHE] will provide us the content and we will run it from 9am everyday," he said. Sangsad TV usually is on air from 5pm to 8pm, he added.
Meanwhile, Directorate of Primary Education (DPE) Director General Md Fasiullah said they have taken decision to air classes through Sangsad TV for primary students.
"We are working on the issue. But we are considering to take a method that can help all students. We are also thinking of airing classes through social media sites and to create a web platform to upload the classes. We are working on recording of lectures," he added.
DPE oversees over 1 lakh primary schools, madrasas, and kindergartens, which have over 1.74 crore students.
Ziaul Kabir Dulu, president of Dhaka-based association of school-goers' parents Abhibhabak Oikya Forum, welcomed the move, but said as Sangsad TV is a cable channel, government can consider airing the lecture through Bangladesh Television for two or three hours a day. "BTV is terrestrial channel so there is no need for a cable line," he said.
Shahedul Khabir Chowdhury said that they will look into how many students were out of coverage of TV lecture.
"We also have plans to upload these lecture to Youtube as well as web-based teachers' platform teachers.gov.bd. We are also looking for ways how we can keep this content that will be available for offline [out of internet coverage] people", he added.