For Mizoram students, it’s a struggle to ‘catch the tower’
In the age of work-from-home, students in Mizoram are studying from anywhere with a signal strong enough. They are also sharing smartphones – a rarity in rural areas where relatively good 2G connectivity makes them an ‘unnecessary buy’. – available in the village to attend online classes or sit for exams.
Buying a smartphone, did not guarantee internet access. Local students had to turn a road, tree, hilltop, bridge, riverbank or any structure into our makeshift classroom to study. They had to subscribe to more than two internetproviders because catching a signal of any of them was a matter of chance. Access to electricity is also an issue in many villages. Many in rural areas can not afford smartphones for their children. Road widening and construction projects have let to damage to the optical fibre cables. He felt poor or no connectivity should reflect in a reduction of college fees.
The determination of the students to go the extra yard for connectivity underlines their academic interest. The fellow feeling among the Mizo community has also come to the fore with any villager -even if not related to a student – letting his or her smartphone be used for classes or exams.
Mizoram university had about 3000 students.
CMEPEDIA provides low bandwidth and asynchronous learning materials and activities to mitigate connectivity issues.