Thursday, December 8

Online classes: JU move to bridge digital divide

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 Jadavpur University has requested its professors, non-teaching staff, alumni and extended community for financial contribution to bridge the digital divide affecting a large section of its students. Even guardians and well-wishers of students can contribute financially, the university has appealed, so that smartphones can be bought and data can be recharged.
Several students in the university were unable to afford smart devices for online classes since campuses shut down in March last year due to Covid-19. University authorities decided to come to the rescue of the students by providing them with smartphones or recharging their devices so that they could attend classes like their other batch mates.
Several other educational institutes, too, extended help to their students. Indian Institute of Engineering, Science and Technology provided smartphones to 700 odd students.

At Presidency University professors keep track of students who are unable to attend online classes due to unavailability of smartphones or internet. The university then seeks help from local administration to connect the student digitally.

Since August last year, JU has been providing smartphones and data recharge to several students. “After a survey, we identified 250 students who needed smart devices and another 800, who needed data recharge. The university helped them with the contribution from various communities on campus,” said an official.

The university has close to 1,050 employees and authorities are hopeful that this time, too, they will have enough funds to help the students. “Data recharge is a recurring expense. Not all students can afford smart devices and recharges. So, the university will once again extend help. The survey to identify the beneficiaries is underway,” said the official. Those willing to contribute need to email the university. The bank details have been provided on the website.

Source: Times of India

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