KOCHI: Ever since the state government announced online classes for school students from June 1 onwards, there has been a spurt in the sales of webcams, android mobile phones and laptops. Parents, students and teachers are getting accustomed to the new model of online teaching. If parents had earlier denied their children to possess electronic gadgets, now they are forced to get one.
When the lockdown was announced on March 24, like any other sectors, electronic shop owners were worried about their loss in business. With Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan announcing online classes for all students of government schools from June 1, the decision has come as a blessing in disguise. But the mad scramble among students to have gadgets ready for online studies has caught electronic shop owners unawares. The major dilemma before them is the shortage of spare parts and basic varieties of gadgets. This has led a section of the parents to have their discarded laptops, webcams and older versions of android mobile phones getting repaired.
Jameel Yousaf, partner of TMC Mobile Technology which has five outlets in Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram, has been inundated with calls and visits from parents asking him to have their old gadgets repaired. “During the current circumstances, not all parents can afford to buy brand new smartphones, laptops, desktops or webcams. My shops in Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram are already facing a dearth of spare parts.
Only when the Chinese market opens in full swing, we will be able to function smoothly,” said Jameel. However, he laments that he had heard parents complaining about their children spending more time on the internet, after their online classes.R. Jayasankar, manager, Logtech Infoway Pvt. Ltd told Express that they have been doing brisk business over the last two weeks. He feels that during the initial days of the lockdown, tuition centres were their consumers.
“With just a few days left for the online classes to start, sales have increased. We are facing a shortage of basic model webcams as new consignments are not coming due to the lockdown. I feel that children are putting pressure on their parents to get high-end gadgets which are forcing them to avail bank loans”, said Jayasankar.
one home, many gadgets
Many families are forced to get multiple gadgets with schools set to reopen in a few days. Parents with more than one school-going child say they are forced to use every available gadget, including mobile phones, tablets and laptops.