Roopamvir Singh (20), who is pursuing MBBS from Government Medical College, Jammu, says that the suspension of high speed had put their lives on halt. Access to online classes was not possible and virtual classes were interspersed with incessant glitches.
“It is certainly a much-craved relief now that high-speed internet has been resumed, however with educational institutions gradually opening up and restrictions being eased, it has not added a tremendous change. Nevertheless, things are better and beneficial now as far as access to online services, information or resource location is concerned,” says Roopamvir, who hails from Poonch district in J&K.
Amid the coronavirus outbreak, medical students across the country resorted to online lab simulation software and platforms, but J&K students were devoid of any practical training for the last 18 months.
A resident of South Kashmir, Saima Malik, reminisces how online classes during the past 18 months were only for attendance as the videos had to be turned off and the voice was lagging too.
“While the whole world shifted to online education, we only had access to 2G and even that was snapped 2-3 times a week. With 4G restoration, the speed has improved and those who did not have a broadband connection are relieved. But we are used to internet suspension and we really cannot trust the condition to be normal, it could be snapped anytime, during a class, or an examination,” says Saima, an alumnus of the University of Kashmir.
Students enrolled in various courses and those preparing for competitive exams are also relieved.
“Starting August 2019 there was a complete shutdown with no internet or telephone connections in the first three months. I am preparing for UGC-NET and my six months were wasted due to the digital blockade. I was also unable to prepare for my PhD entrance exams. But now, I have resumed my online classes and hopefully, my academic journey will soon be on track,” says Iqjyot Kaur, who holds a masters’ degree in English Literature.