Agartala: In a first, the Tripura government has launched ‘Vande Tripura’, a 24×7 dedicated educational channel for students struggling to attend their classes amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb, in presence of education minister Ratan Lal Nath, officially launched the channel which will broadcast classes for schools and higher educational institutions along with other programmes.

The studio of the channel located at the SCERT office, Kumari Tilla, Agartala will initially broadcast recorded classes and later start online classes.

The schools were closed in March 2020, and classes were broadcast to the students through various local channels, both online classes and recorded classes. In addition, live classes were also streamed through YouTube Channel “Shiksha Bandhu”. Students were also reached through WhatsApp-based activity learning “Ektu Khelo Ektu Pado”.

However, in a survey conducted by the education department, it was found that approximately 40 per cent of students don’t have any access to smartphones due to which they were not able to attend classes.

Also read: Tripura: Over 500 fined on Day 1 of COVID-19 curfew in Agartala

After the schools were opened in February, the education department conducted a “learning loss” assessment of the students due to lockdown with the help of Pratham Foundation and found that 36 per cent of students slipped from their previous learning level.

“Consisdering the above, it was felt that, there shall be a dedicated channel for education department for conducting classes continuously across the state. The channel will be made available through all local cable operators in GTPL Cable Network, Srishti-Hathway Cable network, Jio-TV and YouTube covering above 90 per cent of the state. Steps are taken to broadcast through remaining cable networks through cloud network,” education minister Nath said.

After launching the channel, CM Deb lashed out at the erstwhile government and said that they were in power for many years but could not convert a single government school from TBSE to CBSE.

“The opposition party keeps on questioning the present government and the education department but they did nothing. The education department is a sensitive sector where 24 new reforms were made to upgrade the quality of education which was appreciated by the education ministry,” Deb said.

Chief secretary Manoj Kumar, secretary education Soumya Gupta and the directors of both secondary and higher secondary education were also present during the launch of the channel.

Tripura has 4,398 government and government-aided schools apart from 335 private schools in which around 5 lakh students are studying across the state.

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