Meppayur in Kerala becomes first gram panchayat in state to offer free Wi-Fi to students
Free Wi-Fi to help students access online classes sans hassles
Meppayur, a tiny piece of land in Kozhikode district of Kerala, is now the talk of the state for an achievement that deserves applause. The Meppayyur gram panchayat has become the first panchayat in the State to offer free Wi-Fi to all students within its limits. Meppayur lies between Kottappuzha and Nelliadipuzha in Kozhikode district.
In an era where online education has become the norm owing to the peculiar conditions born out of the Covid-19 pandemic, the free Wi-Fi facilities have come about as an eye opener to all other local bodies under the Kerala administration.
The free Wi-Fi project named ‘Sajjam 2021’ was set into motion by Minister for General Education V. Sivankutty recently. The idea was born out of the fact that students in the panchayat faced no difficulty in accessing online classes during the pandemic period. An effort that spanned just two-and-a-half-months bore fruit with the local panchayat putting in place facilities that provide all students with Wi-Fi services, and that too absolutely free-of-cost.
At the launch of the Sajjam 20221 free Wi-Fi infrastructure in Meppayyur gram panchayat, Minister V Sivankutty said that the gram panchayat has turned out to be a model for all other panchayats in the state.
Free Wi-Fi to help students in Meppayur access online classes sans hassles
Meppayur free Wi-Fi offering seen as model for all panchayats
Stating that Kerala’s education sector is riding the information technology wave, the Minister lauded the efforts of the grama panchayat governing body for taking efforts to offer free Wi-Fi to all students in such a short span of time.
As per the initiative, as many as 62 spots in the gram panchayats, including 25 anganwadis, children’s homes, libraries and clubs have been turned into free Wi-Fi spots that can be accessed by students across the area.
Statistics reveal that there are 16 schools in Meppayyur panchayat which have enrolled as many as 7,138 students. With online classes turning out to be a necessity so that classes can go on without any hassle, such an effort came about as imperative.
Educational institutions have remained closed during the coronavirus spread and subsequent lockdowns, leaving students at the mercy of lack of internet availability or slow networks. The Meppayyur local body’s initiative has now done way with all such complaints, and at the moment students are happy that they can continue with their classes online.
The gram panchayat also realised the lack of adequate devices to access the online classes, and they governing body members have come together to distribute mobile phones to 250 students, at a cost of around Rs 20 lakh. The Sajjam 2021 project will soon see itself being implemented in other parts of Kerala too