Mangaluru: College in lockdown, 4,000 students take classes online


MANGALURU: College is shut but Nisha, a first-year BBA aviation student
of Srinivas University, is still sitting for classes, taking notes and marking
attendance. The varsity began online classes five days ago and with the
clampdown to prevent spread of Covid-19 getting longer, many more are
likely to follow suit.

“Though I don’t get a classroom feel, there is satisfaction that I am not missing my regular classes, which are crucial. I am enjoying this new mode of,” Nisha said.

The government has instructed all educational institutions to shut down till
this month-end. From March 15, Srinivas University began online classes
for 4,000-odd undergraduate and post-graduate students. “Students will suffer if classes are suspended for a longer period, especially those in the final year of their courses who would be eager to graduate and find jobs soon. So we decided to offer
theory classes to BBA, BCom and engineering courses through Skype, Google Classroom and other apps,” said vice-chancellor PS Aithal.

“There is a good percentage of attendance and we know this through a software which, at the end of the day, informs parents about the number of classes held and attended by their ward,” he said. “Students with poor internet connection can access the lectures through WhatsApp.”

Aithal added that the lessons taught online will be repeated in classrooms once college reopens.

MAHE figuring it out

Manipal Academy of Higher Education is looking at online classes should the shutdown get longer. “We have discussed the possibility but concerns were raised about how classes with practicals can be conducted online. We are trying to find a
solution,” Dr HS Ballal, pro-chancellor of MAHE, said.

‘Time to look at

study-from-home option’

Stepping up to the plate, e-learning platforms are opening their virtual classrooms for everybody and hoping traditional setups explore an online channel for the future as well.

“Given that schools are shut and studies interrupted, we are making live classes completely free for all students in Classes 5 to 12,” said Zishaan Hayath, CEO and co-founder of Toppr.

Shobhit Bhatnagar, CEO and co-founder of Gradeup, said the edtech industry is gearing up for its biggest test and opportunity as universities around the world go into lockdown mode. “The likes of Harvard have already begun the transition from offline to online, and I can see Indian universities and schools following suit. The biggest benefit that our industry can offer, especially in times like these, is live online classes which provide a safe and convenient study-from-home option,” she said.

Anant Goyal, director and founder of Bright Tutee, said: “We have offered 1500-plus hours of video lectures for 18 state boards completely free. We have seen a 124% increase in student engagement through this on our platform and will continue to offer
the same till this situation stabilises.