Student's death 'very painful', but no lapses on the part of

Education dept, says CM Thiruvananthapuram, June 3 (PTI): A day after a 14-year-old studentcommitted suicide by setting herself afire as she was unable to attend virtual classes as her family did not have a smart phone, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan described the incident as 'very painful', but said there were no lapses on the part of the education department.

Since the television set at her home was not functioning, the girl, a class 9 student, could not access the classes, broadcast through KITE Victers TV channel and made available simultaneously on the Victers website, mobile app and social media pages, following which she had taken the extreme step.

Vijayan said the incident was 'very painful'.

The girl, daughter of a daily wage earner who did not have work due to the COVID-19 lockdown, was depressed before she killed herself as she was unable to attend the digital classes, her family said.

As she was not able to attend online classes, the student had been depressed according to her father and this was also being enquired,he said.

Twentyfive students in her school did not have internet and TVfaciltiesand school authorities had assured them that some arrangements would be made.

No child will lose their classes, Vijayan said.

In some tribal areas where there was no network connection, alternative arrangements would be made for students, the chief minister said.

The Education department is conducting a preliminary probe, he said, adding there has been no lapses on the part of the department on the matter.

For two weeks,trial runs of the online classes will go on.

'The schools have been closed all these days.

We are not in a position to tell when it would be possible to re-open them.The central government had said only by July end the classes are likely to open,' Vijayan said.

It was decided to have the online classes keeping the children's future in mind as the state had the facilities.'But there are some who do not have these facilities.We are prepared to provide that,' he said.

Of the 41 lakh students in government schools, 2.61 lakh do not have facilitiesfor online studies, but Vijayan said government would provide them all resources for going ahead with the online classes.

The Kerala state Beverages Corporation has decided to provide 500 TV sets, while several youth and students organisations have come forward to help, he added.PTI UD BN WELCOME BN WELCOME