With COVID-19 wreaking havoc on the current educational year and the focus now shifting to online studies, the Achik Students’ Welfare Association (ASWA) has written to Meghalaya Chief Minister, Conrad Sangma on Monday, seeking better internet connectivity as well as free smart devices for students under higher education.
“The pandemic has interrupted every section of society and students are one amongst the worst affected,” said ASWA president Harley Davidson Sangma.
The ASWA added that while the focus has now shifted to online studies, a good percentage of students have no access to either laptops, tablets or even a smartphone.
“Hence we urge you to develop a programme for distribution of such smart gadgets at least for students in the higher education level. We are optimistic that you will not blame the economic status of our State for this unfortunate state of affairs. Such a programme has existed in our State earlier. In fact, we want you to further enlarge such a programme. God forbid if any similar situation arises in future our fellow students can learn at home,” added ASWA secretary Chengrang R Marak.
The students’ body further highlighted the need for a high speed network to be able to use smart gadgets efficiently.
“There are some areas in Garo Hills where no network works appropriately. We have been trying to attend Webinars and online training programmes organised by leading institutions but every so often we missed out important sessions only because network connectivity is improper,” they added.
ASWA then said that network was an issue even in urban areas like Tura and Williamnagar and all telecom services do not provide good connectivity.
“We urge you and your government to ask the department concerned as well as all the telecom companies operating in Garo Hills to conduct frequent assessment of network connectivity and provide smooth service,” the student body added.