Citing the reports on poor attendance reaching the authorities, a senior official from the Higher Education Department said many colleges have reported that fewer students were participating in online classes.
“Most of the rural students have a problem in getting internet connection. Therefore, the participation in online classes has reduced. On an average, only between 30 per cent and 40 per cent students are active in virtual classes,” the official said.
Many of the students were interest only in physical classes, as they feel that direction interactions with the teachers were more useful for them to clear doubts, he said.
R Dhamothran from the Joint Action Council of College Teachers, Tamil Nadu, who conducts online classes for science stream students, pointed out that many students of city colleges are from rural areas. They have a valid reason to shun online classes, as internet connectivity is poor in their hometowns, he added.
Dhamothran noted that the participation in the online classes was high when the government offered free internet data for government and aided colleges. “Now, most of them are not using the allocated free data for online classes,” he claimed.
N Pasupathy, president, Association of University Teachers (AUT), agreed that students preferred physical classes rather than virtual. “This was clear when most of the colleges reported more than 90 per cent of the students turning up to attend physical classes when colleges reopened in January. All the students said they felt physical classes were better than the online ones,” he said.
Pasupathy added that the participation of the students in virtual classes fell because the sessions were not innovative to capture and retain their attention.