With the outbreak and spread of Covid-19 in the second wave across the region, including in Jajarkot district, all academic institutions have turned to virtual teaching and learning.
Students like 10thgrader Laxmi KC of Nalgad Municipality-8 in the district were expected to continue their studies remotely during this period, but she had little to do because her village had no electricity or internet access.
She keeps herself occupied by helping her family with household chores and grazing her cattle. The government’s alternative learning approach should have compensated for the physical teaching-learning practices at the schools during a health crisis like this.
However, in the lives of students like KC, the provision makes no sense because it is neither a realistic nor a feasible idea in a village like hers without electricity or internet access.
She uses a cell phone that her family charges with solar power to keep up with her college courses, making calls to her friends in district headquarters and town areas.
“There is no power or access to the internet. “How do we adjust to alternative learning methods?” KC bemoaned, concerned that her academic pursuit had been hampered for some time.
Ganesh Bikram Shahi of the district’s Barekot Rural Municipality-5 suffered a similar fate. Taking care of the cattle and household tasks are part of his daily routine.
There was no telephone tower in his village until about a month ago, so he couldn’t call his classmates or keep up with the news like KC.
Nepal Telecommunications’ recently built telephone tower has ensured telephone service in his village, allowing him to keep in touch with his classmates and teachers.
Alternative learning approaches had not made an impact here, he lamented, despite the fact that virtual classes were being run in the town areas and students were benefiting.
According to him, students in the district headquarters and urban areas seem to have optimized information technology for learning activities, but students in villages and remote areas have been left without an education at a time when prohibitory orders have been placed in many parts of the country to contain the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“There is a chance of Covid-19 in the village,” Kaman Khadka of Junichade Rural Municipality-7 shared. We can’t just walk around the village without taking precautions or feeling a sense of urgency.
It’s pointless to sit at home and do nothing. Academic activities are also impossible to pursue due to a shortage of power and internet. As a result, we’ve been staying at home and doing nothing but household chores.”
KC, Shahi, and Khadka are among the 81,238 students who attend 416 community schools and 26 institutional schools in the district.
After the prohibitory order was enacted, these students were required to continue with their teaching/learning activities.