One of the most frequent messages pop up in the school WhatsApp groups, created by class teachers for coordinating the classes online, these days is about students missing classes due to inconstant power supply at the student’s end or at that of the teachers. High school students are the main causality of power outages as most schools following CBSE, ICSE syllabi conduct classes for long hours. While the state education department and most private schools provide students the option to access recorded version of classes, a few schools are still reluctant to provide students with that option.
“Since the online classes started without much preparations, several students are suffering for want of enough computer/cell phone devises of good quality. Smart phones are not available in the shops even if you are willing to pay Rs 10,000. My children manage classes with whatever equipment that were available in the home before the lockdown. But now the biggest nightmare is that our internet modem could go off anytime at the blink of power supply. The supply in school end is also erratic at times. The only solace is that my kids’ school offers the contents off line as well, so that they can join the missing pieces of information at their own convenience”, said R Reshmi, mother of two children admitted to a CBSE school in the city.
However, there could be very less chance for the consumers start getting guaranteed uninterrupted power supply anytime near future. KSEB authorities say that the board has enough and more power for distribution but it was not in a position to guarantee seamless power supply owing to reasons out of their control.
“Kerala being a thickly vegetated place, line interruptions due to uprooting of trees and tree branches over the power lines are common during rainy season. We have not introduced any power restrictions, other than the inevitable ones for repair, maintenance and development works. In fact, the board has surrendered 65 MU of energy we had contracted earlier. We are doing our best to ensure interruption free supply, but to cope with flickering and outages for short periods, consumers, especially those who attend online classes live may ensure power backup arrangements’, said KSEB chairman and managing director N S Pillai.