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Covid-19 Pandemic: Year 2020 was of struggle, innovation for teachers – education

From turning mud house walls into blackboards to taking classes through loudspeakers in moving cars, from ‘mohalla’ classes to using the panchayat bhawans public announcement system, 2020 was filled with struggles and innovation for teachers to engage. ensure that learning was not disrupted while schools were closed due to COVID-19.

The 10-plus-month shutdown inspired creative ways to teach thousands of students who couldn’t log into classes online because they didn’t have access to smartphones and computers in various villages across the country.

Teachers in public schools in the village of Dumarthar in Dumka in Jharkhand found a new way to provide education to students who do not have access to smartphones. They created blackboards on the walls of the students’ houses to teach them while maintaining social distancing. “We started with an initiative called ‘shiksha aapke dwaar’ (education at your doorstep) to provide education to children who did not have access to smartphones and the Internet. Over 100 blackboards have been created on the walls to teach students at home, ”said Tapan Kumar, a teacher at Dumarthar.

Every day Indra Mukhi Chhetri, a math and science teacher in Sikkim’s Ravangala, visited the homes of several students she identified and reached out to about 40 students in a week from class 1 to class 5.

“Even if I take classes online, these students don’t have devices or an internet connection. Some of them may have access, but how do I maintain equality, others may feel left out. So I used to spend about 20 minutes with each student in a week.

“I picked up their notebooks and wrote lessons for them, which they have to finish during the week. I also inform parents about what to do, ”he said.

Ghanshyambhai, a teacher in Gujarat’s Janan village, used the village panchayat public announcement system to share stories, songs, guidelines for parents on how to deal with children during the lockdown period, the importance of exercise and much. plus.

“I also announced when I will be in Panchayat Bhawan so that students or parents who want to clear up any doubts or interact can see me there, maintaining social distancing,” he added.

Chhattisgarh teachers taught Mohalla (neighborhood) classes in areas with low infection rates.

“We set up mini classrooms, with small groups of students, in community spaces. The teachers spent a couple of hours in each classroom, interacting with all the students at least twice a week, ”said one of the teachers.

Another teacher in Chhattisgarh, Rudra Rana, used his motorcycle to teach classes.

“The children couldn’t go to study because the schools were closed. So I thought why not take them to school. Although schools remain closed, online classes are not feasible for most rural students. I used a portable umbrella and a blackboard to take classes when I went to town, ”he said.

In Haryana’s Kanwarsika village, the morning bell announcing the start of a teaching session used to ring, not at the local school, but from a van equipped with a loudspeaker.

“The students settled inside the houses and in the patios that faced the street. They first recited a prayer following the teacher on the loudspeaker and then they attended lessons of one subject each day, ”said Noor Bano, teacher at the government school in Nuh district.

In a newly acquired daily practice, students from Haryana’s Jhamri village opened their textbooks as they saw the car arriving near their homes, filling the void left by school closures due to closure and lack of digital infrastructure. , such as weak internet connectivity. .

“I arranged for a speaker system in a car. The teachers were asked to go with the car and park it in a workable spot and teach lessons from there. It doesn’t match classroom learning levels, but it will at least ensure that students “don’t drop out of school,” said Satyanarayan Sharma, who runs a village school in Jhajjar district.

The COVID-19-induced lockdown in March prompted schools and universities to move to the virtual world for teaching and learning activities and exposed the existing digital divide in the country.

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