A 13-year-old boy in India fell to death from a mountain, while trying to search for mobile network to attend online classes. 

The victim has been identified as Andriya Jagaranga of the eastern state of Odisha. The grade 8 student used to climb up a mountain near his house regularly as mobile connectivity in his village was poor. According to Pragativadi News, Jagaranga was accompanied by some of his friends, who also had their online classes.

The boy used to study in Cuttack Missionary School, but went to his village after physical classes were suspended due to COVID-19 pandemic.

On Tuesday, Jagaranga reportedly lost his balance, slipped and fell to his death, Odisha TV reported. Some reports said the boy lost his balance as it had been raining heavily in the area.

A firefighting team reached the scene after they were informed about the incident. The teenager was rushed to a hospital in a critical condition. He was then moved to another hospital where he died of injuries. 

While those in the urban areas have been easily carrying out their online classes, students living in remote places have faced issues due to network problems. Schools in India have been closed since last year after the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world. According to a UNICEF report, closure of 1.5 million schools impacted 247 million children enrolled in elementary and secondary schools in India. Only one in four children has access to digital devices and internet connectivity, making it difficult for those living in the rural areas to attend classes. 

The report, released in May, also stated school closures have grave consequences for children’s learning and wellbeing.

The country's education officers are working on guidelines to reopen schools in the country. The Ministry of Education has emphasized on promoting regular handwashing and safe hygiene practices of students, teachers and other school staff and sanitization of schools.

More than 25,000 COVID-19 cases were reported in India in the last 24 hours, taking the total number of infections to more than 32 million.

Syrian refugees say online classes are of little use due to lack of resources Syrian refugees say online classes are of little use due to lack of resources Photo: AFP / JOSEPH EID