A day after a 14-year-old student committed suicide by setting herself afire as she was unable to attend virtual classes as her family did not have a smart phone, Kerala 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.
25 students in her school did not have internet and TV facilities and 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, he 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.