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‘Call teachers’ union to discuss blended mode of learning’

Teachers’ union says it is against the interests of rural students

The Higher Education Minister should call teachers’ union to discuss the disadvantages of blended learning programme proposed by the Union government, teachers’ union has said.

Speaking at a the Sixth Education Conference organised by Madurai Kamaraj University and Manonmaniam Sundaranar University Teachers Association (MUTA) held here on Sunday, general secretary of State Platform for Common School System P.B. Prince Gajendra Babu said the blended mode of learning and teaching was against the interests of rural students. The government had proposed to conduct 40% of classes in online mode and 60% in offline mode.

“The University Grants Commission wants the students to come to college only for hands-on learning like workshop and laboratory education and the other classes are intended through online programme,” said Mr. Babu said.

The UGC had asked for redesigning of the syllabus to comply with the blended learning programme. “The rural students face network connectivity problems and they are at a disadvantage when compared to urban students,” he said.

Classroom education was meant for interactive learning sessions while online programmes did not have such a facility. Besides, the online programmes would reduce teachers to coaches and mentors, whereas the teachers taught the students more than what was prescribed in the syllabus in physical classroom environment.

“The first generation students will be at a disadvantage as online classes would deny democratic space, social transformation and human development,” he said.

MUTA wanted scrapping of the New Education Policy. The colleges should be reduced to produce students with vocational skill under it, he said.

General secretary of Tamil Nadu Progressive Writers and Artistes Association Adhavan Dheethanchya and MUTA general secretary M. Nagarajan were among those who spoke.

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