On June 25, news reports about Shyam Kishore Singh, a faculty teacher from Jharkhand’s Dumka district who had put up several loudspeakers across Bankathi village to show his students who don’t have smartphones, a day for 2 hours, since April 16. round the same time, six government school teachers in Bakshi-ka-Talab, situated on the outskirts of Lucknow, came together to make a WhatsApp group to interact with rural children.
An otherwise relaxed vacation has become a challenge for educators. On May 28, UNESCO reported that around 2.7 million teachers from India who had been impacted by the pandemic are untrained to handle the changed situation. Educators are preparing digital lesson plans on overdrive and lots of students are grappling without access to technology, whilst many teachers are unpaid or have lost their jobs. Anganwadi workers have home-delivered educational material and tried to involve parents within the learning process.
In spite of all the challenges, tutors and learners have ensured that learning continues.
‘Men’streaming initiatives in rural India
The lockdown has seen many fathers upping their game by indulging in joint activities with their children and recording them. Enabling these ‘men’streaming initiatives are the foot soldiers – Anganwadi workers across states.
One of the most important casualties of the Covid-19 pandemic and therefore the resultant lockdown has been institutionalized education. Schools are shut to stop the spread of the virus and this has given thanks to online classrooms, a really new concept in India even for the foremost sophisticated schools. it’s commendable how easily some educational institutions have moved to virtual classrooms, all because of tools like Zoom, Google Hangouts, and Microsoft Teams. But there are some still struggling to urge online.
There are teachers and schools putting extra effort to interact with students in classes by revamping timetables, shifting discussions online, taking feedback from parents, and monitoring students constantly. While there are some who do the bare minimum and using WhatsApp to remain connected with students. Some schools try out tools like SeeSaw, Google Suite, and YouTube videos to form online classes as engaging as offline ones. But there also are people who are failing miserably at this shift.
Parents are divided
Vikas Garg, knowledgeable within the energy sector and a parent of a preschooler, living in Gurugram says, “Online class may be a fairly new concept and my daughter was pretty excited initially to be a part of it. The virtual classes via Zoom are being conducted smoothly. There are some drawbacks to the shortage of a platform to submit assignments. Students are required to write down the assignments, take an image of it, and email, which gets tough for the kid also because of the teacher. Otherwise, the varsity has moved into online teaching very smoothly.”
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The right platform
Schools (some) are using video conferencing platforms like Zoom and Google Hangouts to conduct classes. Some others have moved classes to Microsoft Teams. Many teachers find these tools extremely helpful to form classes even more engaging than regular classroom while others are struggling.