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Online classes and accessibility: ASA TISS report

 

Ambedkarite Students' Association, TISS (Mumbai)

Ambedkarite Students' Association TISS released a report about online classes
(A detailed report on how accessible the online class system is to the students.)

24-07-2020

On 18th July 2020, Ambedkarite Students' Association, TISS Mumbai, has released a report on the newly proposed online-class method by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences in the face of the given pandemic situation. This report has been sent to the TISS Administration seeking measures to get the education more accessible.

A mail received from the TISS Administration on the 22nd of June 2020 notified the current students of TISS that the upcoming semester would be conducted through online mode. Across India, the internet penetration is merely 36% and only 13% of households own laptops or desktops. Considering the deep and wide digital divide in the country, Ambedkarite Students' Association, TISS Mumbai conducted an independent study on the accessibility and availability of the internet. The report is based on the responses of current TISS students belonging to various MA and M.Phil programmes. The responses have been presented graphically in the report here.

The Accessibility report, shows issues like frequent power-cuts and poor internet connectivity which creates a huge hurdle to access online education. Such accessibility also gets hampered due to low internet data packs even if students have proper internet with good electricity facilities. All these issues have higher probability to increase stress and anxieties among students when we all are suffering with the current pandemic situation. Also the quality of education, especially in studying social sciences, is highly compromised in virtual learning mode. Online classes are not something that students have signed up for.

Thus in the wake of these points, the report has been sent to the Administration on 17th July 2020, to which the authorities haven't replied till this PR is released. They have however, declared that they will be showing the results to the students as mentioned in the suggestions part of the reports.

It must be noted that 'Right to Education' is operationalized to equal and accessible education to all. So, if it won't be equally accessible to all it will demolish the fundamental ethos of Right to education.

The students are requesting the administration to consider this semester as zero semester and postpone it till classes resume at the campus as most of the students find online classes difficult and impossible to attend. If anyway, the semester is going to start, then the students are asking for the resources and more inclusive assistance from the administration.

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For more information you can reach ASA TISS at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and contact on +919028498230.

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