As students stay at home, Tetso College conduct virtual classes

As students stay at home, Tetso College conduct virtual classes

As students stay at home, Tetso College conduct virtual classes

Morung Express News
Dimapur | March 20

On March 17, as the Nagaland government ordered schools and colleges shut till April  12, students at Tetso College in Dimapur began jubilantly planning what to do with their unexpected ‘stay at home’ holiday.

But their jubilation was short lived as the institute, on March 19 seamlessly moved into the online learning mode and conducted its first Virtual Class via Google Hangouts Meet. 

virtual classes

Being prepared

What made the migration to digital classrooms seamless were the small shifts towards an online teaching-learning system that the institute incorporated in the previous semester.

According to Vice Principal Dr Hewasa Lorin, the College has been using Google Classrooms services to streamline the process of sharing files between teachers and students. Though these classrooms were not in real-time, it helped students as well as teachers to familiarize themselves with the concept of online teaching and learning. 

Following the government’s order that shut down all educational institutions, the college authority swung into action and began training its teachers on March 17 and conducted a trial run with the students the next day. All the students were notified via email that the virtual classes would begin on Thursday.

Teething trouble

There was some teething trouble on the first day as some students had to keep going in and out of the Virtual Classrooms because of poor internet connectivity, says Anjan Behera, Asst Dean- Humanities, Business and Economics. “Some glitches are expected as this is the first time, but we are also working together as a team to troubleshoot and try to help each other out,” he added.

Several students also voiced out concern on high data consumption when the College authorities solicited feedback on its official Instagram page. In this regard, Dr Lorin said that the College has been giving out tips to both teachers and students on how to reduce data consumption and looking into reducing periods of classes.

To ensure that the students do not miss out on any lessons because of bad connectivity and other glitches, teachers are also uploading all the materials that they are teaching on the particular day. 

Access to smart phones and stable internet connection are also some issues that students have been facing but Dr Lorin assured that alternate arrangements are being chalked out to make up for it. 


Continued learning

Despite the challenges, attendance has been surprisingly high in online classes. “At first we were not sure if our students will be able to adjust to this new sys

tem,” says Anjan, however, as the classes began, most of his classes logged in attendance of more than 90%. 
Encouraged by the attendance, Dr Lorin says that the aim is to ensure that learning does not get interrupted. While some aspects are beyond our control, we are hopeful and excited and to be doing this, she added.

For Mmhatsu Humtsoe, a 2nd Semester MA English student, the online classes have proved to be an advantage as he does not have to worry about completing the semester syllabus on time. But he is not oblivious to the infrastructural deficiencies in the state. The problem of network connectivity, fluctuation of electricity etc. have been frustrating, Mmhatsu  however chooses to remain optimistic and says “I believe this is a step towards using technology to our advantage rather than the usual case of technology distracting youths.” 

Rising concerns about the spread of COVID-19 and the call to shut down educational institutions have revealed vulnerabilities in education systems across the world. It is now clear that society needs flexible and resilient education systems as we face unpredictable futures.

Virtual classes need a little getting used to, but as Dr Hewasa sums it up, “This could be a step towards initiating and improving upon the introduction of digital education in Nagaland.”