Distance learning facilities to be increased | Sunday Observer

Distance learning facilities to be increased

22 November, 2020

With the Covid-19 risk still looming large, the Education Ministry is set to increase infrastructure facilities for distance learning, with special focus on learning programs via the television, Secretary, Ministry of Education, Prof. Kapila Perera told the Sunday Observer yesterday.

The media reported in the past few days that students in rural areas find it difficult to follow online education, due to the lack of electronic devices and poor internet connections, he said, adding that such incidents are being reported frequently.

“The Ministry receives information of such incidents from all over the country. Recently, I visited several schools in the Central Province and found that two schools in the Meemure education division do not even have CDMA facilities,” Prof. Perera said. He said the Education Ministry has already developed and disseminated self-learning sets among schoolchildren in the Central Province. In addition, the Ministry has introduced a distance learning program via television called Guru Gedara allocating 15 classroom hours per day. The Government has proposed to allocate Rs. 3 billion from Budget 2021, to grant television sets to rural schools. However, the Government will not delay till approval of the budgetary-allocation and will take prompt action to get televisions to rural schools, Prof. Perera said. “I have gathered information on all 10,165 schools in the country. We will take prompt action to facilitate all students, after consulting the Divisional and Zonal education offices,” he said. The media reported last week that students at Baduraliya in the Kalutara district and several other areas faced internet connection issues, and missed online classes conducted by schools during the pandemic lockdown. Telecom Regulatory Commission officials are expected to visit the areas this week to resolve the problem.