Odisha allows visually-impaired college teachers to take online classes from home

Odisha allows visually-impaired college teachers to take online classes from home Photo Courtesy : Utkal University
Press Trust of India | Aug 25, 2020 - 8:36 a.m. IST
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BHUBANESWAR: The Odisha government on Monday asked all colleges under the Higher Education Department to allow visually-impaired teachers to take online classes from their homes till the COVID-19 situation improves.

Currently, all teachers go to colleges and hold live online classes from there. In a letter to the principals of all degree colleges, Higher Education Department Secretary Saswat Mishra said,

The visually-impaired teachers can take online classes from their residence till resumption of normalcy. They are not required to come to college campuses to take online classes, the letter said.

The state government had earlier directed all colleges and universities to start online classes for under-graduate and post-graduate students from July 13. It came to the fore later that visually challenged teachers are facing difficulties in commuting as COVID-19 related restrictions are in force and availability of public transport is scarce.

College teachers are conducting online classes three days a week on various platforms. On each day, they take classes for two to three hours. However, many teachers, who refused to be named, alleged that colleges do not have the infrastructure to conduct online classes and they have to use their own mobile phones for the purpose.

"If classes are to be conducted using our own phones, there is no point in visiting colleges thrice a week. We can also take classes from our homes," a lady teacher said. Another teacher said that small smartphones get hot as classes are taken for two hours at a stretch and there are apprehensions that they may explode. "The government must set up facilities in colleges for conducting online classes," the teacher said.

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