Power outage, network issues hit online classes in rural areas

PTA representatives take up issue with KSEB and Education Department

Recurring power outages and Internet connectivity issues have popped up as the biggest hurdle for students attending online classes in rural areas of Kozhikode district. Only those having good power backup options and multiple data connections are able to attend sessions without disruptions.

Though KSEB officials claimed that there were no pending works disrupting the transmission network in the rural belt, several parents complained that the annoying day-time power blackout was a reality, and that it exposed the faulty transmission system. Since many children are using wired connections with WiFi modem in their homes, power supply disruptions frequently disconnect them from the classroom, they pointed out.

Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) representatives from Thamarassery taluk have already taken up the issue with the KSEB and the Education Department. Similar complaints have also come up from villages like Koorachundu, Kuttiyadi, Peruvanamoozhi, and Koodaranhi.

The lack of 3G or 4G connections is also a major hurdle for those attending regular online sessions on different video-streaming platforms. For such students, teachers are preparing pre-recorded short video sessions. In some cases, children manage with their parents’ phones which are often incompatible with the high-resolution video-streaming needs.

“Even college students who depend on virtual classrooms are struggling to cope with the situation. At least there should be some favourable intervention during this lockdown period,” said G. Arun, a language trainer from Thiruvambady. He pointed out that such disruptions were hardly visible in urban areas.

Teachers are also facing difficulties while preparing daily video lessons. Live interactive sessions reportedly end up midway thanks to unexpected technical issues. Many fear that the situation will be worse during monsoon with delayed repair of damaged power lines, transformers, and electric posts.

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