Teen takes online classes in cemetery parking lot due to poor internet access
A 15-year-old girl has no choice but to take online classes in a cemetery parking lot due to the poor internet access in her home.
Carmelita Rael drives up to a graveyard in Colorado, USA, with her family when they cannot connect to the internet, as per Fox-affiliate KDVR on Oct. 8. Carmelita manages to access the internet there via her phone since the area has a clear view of the cell towers.
The Rael family lives on a ranch miles away from town and is surrounded by hills, which she says makes it harder to find an internet connection.
“We don’t have access to broadband, or fiber optic, or any of those things. Even our cellphones don’t work when we are here at the ranch,” said Carmelita’s mother, Kimba, who is also the principal of her school.
Though they have a satellite dish on the side of their house, they often lose internet access when the wind gets too strong or the clouds become too heavy.
Carmelita is not alone in her struggle as schools across the globe shift to online learning amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Toby Melster, superintendent for Centennial School District R-1 , stated that around 20 percent of his students have difficulty with internet access. While telecommunications companies such as T-mobile have given their students over 50 WiFi hotspots, some still cannot connect to the internet to finish their schoolwork.
“Things are not getting done, and it’s not necessarily their fault,” Melster was quoted as saying.
He also aims to set up more cell towers in the area by working with network providers. However, Melster is still considering his options as the plan could cost $1.5 million.
Aside from the students, he also acknowledges that the lack of good internet access affects teachers too.
“I know it’s causing some frustration, and aggravation, anxiety, not only with the students but with our teachers,” he said in the report. “I can’t say enough about them.” Ryan Arcadio /ra
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.