The very image that comes to our mind when we think of learning is a huge classroom with desks and benches. However, the covid crisis seems to have painted a new picture of learning. Online learning, which involves the judicious use of technology is a wonderful thing and can definitely create miracles.
You are just one click away!
However, this argument can’t be established well when we talk of the people from the poorer sections of the society. Their challenge is way bigger than what we can even imagine of.
“Hello! Can I talk to Sonali?” (NAME CHANGED)
“Haa Didi, mei Sonali bol rahi hu.” (I am Sonali speaking.)
“Why are you not online? I have constantly been trying to reach out to you. I have send across new videos for you to watch and learn.”
“Didi! Mera Papa bolte hai ki larkiyo ko aukat mei rehna chahiye, isiliye mujhe phone nei dete parne ke liye.”
(My Dad claims that girls should stay in their limits and therefore refuses to give me his mobile phone for studying.)
This was my second phone call with the little child and I was stunned. I was just thinking of how quickly kids create a bond. I have never ever met this kid before and I just could not understand how she felt so comfortable with me.
My work location has been changed and I am not dealing with the same set of kids as last year. The new bunch of kids that I am currently dealing with, in my second year of fellowship, are kids, I have never ever met before. However, few phone calls and messages over WhatsApp made me grow extremely fond of them.
I think they really love me too!😍
Coming to the transition part;
Shifting from classroom learning to online learning…
Online learning is not the same for kids from the low income society as is for the middle class, upper middle class and rich sections of the society. Kids from the low income societies have a thousand problems hovering over their heads.
Parents don’t stay at home, hence they do not have a device to access their online lectures.
Parents don’t have a smartphone.
Parents can’t afford the costly internet pack.
The covid crisis compelled the families to go back to their native villages and they do not have network there.
Kids have access to smartphones for a very limited time frame and in that time frame, their siblings are also supposed to study.
AND THR LIST OF THEIR PROBLEMS CONTINUE…
Does it at all mean that we give up?
Not at all for they deserve the best in the world. Poverty has robbed them of the opportunities they deserve in life. However it is our duty to relentlessly work to fetch them those opportunities.
Also, how can I undermine their zeal to learn and grow in life.
There is a particular boy named Omkar. The zeal in him to study and grow in life is just inexplicable. The enthusiasm with which he learns is commendable. I got the chance to talk to his mom and she was telling me of how sincere a boy Omkar is. His father leaves for work early morning and comes back late at night. The family has just a single smartphone which the father carries to work everyday. Omkar has a sister who is in 10th standard currently and also needs the smartphone once the father retires home from work. The mother was telling me that when her husband returns home from work, his phone needs charge and hence, the kids face even more difficulty. However, I was absolutely taken aback when I saw Omkar regularly studying and submitting his works. I just kept wondering, how on Earth did he make time. On further investigation, I realised that he stays up late at night and again wakes up early in the morning to study. I was filled with complete respect for him and sent across silent prayers…
“God, may he achieve all that he wants to.”
He is just in standard six, yet he realises the value of education much better than anyone of us from the richer background.
Honestly they deserve the best in life!
Ahh! I again drifted from what I actually was supposed to write about. Too many emotions grooving in my system at the moment!
Where was I?
So, the kids are somewhat active on whatsapp. I therefore created a class group on WhatsApp. I have sent them a pdf of their textbook for reference. In addition to that I take classes on zoom. However, the attendance is pretty bad, as expected, owing to the challenges they face. I totally understand and in order to ensure that they do not miss out on any kind of learning, I make small concept videos of say 6-7 minutes and send across on whatsapp. Along with the videos, I send them assignments to do, just to test their understanding. They watch the videos at their own pace and solve the assignments. They call me if they have any doubts and I clarify their doubts. 😇
Now the question is,
How do I check assignments and revert back? 🤗
Below is how I do it…
We are not here in the fellowship to just teach…
We are here in the fellowship to bring in a huge transformation…
TO MAKE AN IMPACT!
To give back to the society!
To give back to the nation!