Teaching the students to cope during lockdown: a few inspiring examples
September 5, 2021
“Teacher is a very noble profession that shapes the character, caliber, and future of an individual. If the people remember me as a good teacher, that will be the biggest honor for me,” – Dr APJ Abdul Kalam
In the last year, lockdowns have profoundly affected the way our children learn. Due to the fact that schools are closed for the greater part of the year, online and distance education has become an essential part of school life. No matter whether you are an Instagramer or not, there is no denying that it is an excellent resource for teaching inspiration.
Today, on the occasion of Teacher’s Day, Byitsown team remembers and celebrates the efforts made by teachers and individuals who worked tirelessly to educate India’s most vulnerable sections. These teachers made sure children’s education didn’t remain stagnant in the midst of the pandemic.
Jeyaishwari R Nadar
Jeyaishwari R Nadar is a mathematics teacher at Gandhi Memorial English High School, Mumbai. Using a transparent tray from her refrigerator as a mobile stand, she teaches mathematics while solving problems on paper. When asked the reason behind this, she said – “I want to explain things to my students and want them to see how I solve the mathematic problems”. Her story demonstrates how educators have been forced to innovate because of the pandemic. This is creative thinking at its best! Bravo to such devoted teachers.
In Kolkata, Subrata Pati teaches at two educational institutions (Adamas University and RICE Education). Amidst the chaos caused by Coronavirus, Subrata returned to his village in West Bengal, where internet service is patchy. But he didn’t give up even when facing problems with the internet and decided to climb a nearby neem tree to rectify his situation. He now sits daily on a platform that rests on the tree branches, which he made with the help of his friends. The 35-year-old is now able to receive uninterrupted internet access.
Sushil Kumar Meena
A railway engineer, Sushil Kumar Meena has made it his life’s work to teach underprivileged children across India. For years, he has imparted basic education to underprivileged children through his Nirbhed Foundation. The poor connections in those areas made it almost impossible to conduct online classes during the lockdown. To curb this trend, he launched an initiative Main Bhi Hoon Shikshak (I am also a teacher). Students in grades 8 and above are trained in this program to become teachers, so they can go on and teach younger children in and around their home.
Since schools continued to close in Jammu and Kashmir due to the outbreak of Coronavirus, an engineering-turned-math teacher Munner decided to teach students. Due to the lockdown, Muneer’s coaching institute was temporarily closed. His online teaching also failed when he tried using only a 2G connection, so he started taking the class open-air. He drives to Old Town Srinagar with a whiteboard stand and walks 500 meters through the forest. It is here that he gives an ‘open-air’ mathematics class, which is attended by many students from all around town.
These four stories highlight the fact that teachers aren’t simply conduits for knowledge, but are a vital lifeline for their students, now and during whatever comes next.
A very happy Teachers’ Day to all the teachers out there. You know you’re awesome and so do we!
In the case of COVID-19, the situation has been evolving, and a return to ‘normality’ might be imminent. Until then, let’s ponder the teachers who are doing everything to serve their students.
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