Teach for North-East fellows has been working very hard to reach each and every single student without leaving any student behind because of the pandemic as well as the lack of accessibility to digital devices, said the director Manthanmi Hungyo.
A brief reality of the students in remote areas like kamjong is shared below.
Classes were resumed in Kamjong High school with proper SOP during September midweek for class 9 and 10 enrolling the students of from different schools as many of the students have not attended any classes since the start of lockdown in March by the Teach for North-East Fellows. The district was having 100% covid recovery as well as many students learning level were dropping and no engagement from the schools were provided.
The Fellows created momentum with the students in catching them up with basic learnings and they have progressed a lot both in terms of education and discipline and social abilities. Nischal , The Training Lead of Teach for North-East shares about the progress, I must say the fellows have been doing some really great work here. Preparing for classes, correcting home work everyday, conducting periodic tests very passionately. Kids are studying before exam, during breaks also, going through books seriously when classes are happening.
I have never seen all this happen in Kamjong High School. For the first time in their life probably they are experiencing such teachers, such intensity from teachers and such serious school environment. I can see they are getting tired but are keeping at it. Immensely proud of them.
One student also told me – “Sir, I thought you are stubborn but these teachers are even more stubborn”.
However, since 19 October, 2020 the school has been shut down again due to the pandemic. The school has been closed again and have resorted to other means of imparting education. Online education has been a choice but due to inaccessibility of smartphones by most of the students, and since it doesn’t belong privately to them and is used by most family members together, it imposes them the difficulty to conduct online classes, electricity problem, internet problems we left it out from our options.
The Fellows have resorted to giving assignments to the students of both class 9 &10 based on previously covered chapters and the portion which they can do self-study. They sent out the notice and the assignments through whatsapp and personal calls. For the other students whom they cannot contact through phone, they have been going for home visits and explained them their task distribute the worksheets of their concerned subjects.
They are and will be meeting the students once in a week and get on call with them once in a week to check their progress and to keep them on tract. They are also given the option to clear whatever doubts they have either on call or in person by maintaining the SOP. In addition, in the coming weeks they are planning to make lesson videos or audios to them. The videos will be for each small topics such as nutrition, central bank functions, Ideas of Mazzini etc. comprising of 5-10 minutes.
We will soon be sharing our findings on the challenges, the coping mechanisms towards digital learning and the digital connect/divide which is happening in our region, he added.
Out of the total 69 students of class X, 45 students have access to smartphones. Some of them belong to their immediate family while some of them are from their neighbours. The remaining students do not have the access to Smartphone, but they have basic phones at home.
Out of the total 56 students in class IX, 25 students have access to smartphones. Most of them access it from their family members or immediate neighbours. The remaining students half of them do not even have basic phones.
The fellows wishes that everyone has accessibility to devices so that there can be one mode of communication ,however the reality is that the digital divide is becoming bigger and bigger.
However, They will soon be sharing their findings on the challenges, the coping mechanisms towards digital learning and the digital connect/divide which is happening in our region, along with possible solutions and invite all stakeholders to come forward to make a collective blueprint to let the learning continue for our students.
We never know how long this will go on and now we have to start planning with keeping in mind for a period of 2 years due to the uncertainty of the pandemic and the possibility that schools might not open for that long, said Mathanmi Hungyo.
Teach for North-East is an educational movement started by Recognize Rise and Empower Association, a nonprofit organization based in based in Manipur with a vision that, “One day every child of the region will have access to quality education which drives individual ownership of the world around them”. The Fellows are actively working in Kamjong, Phungyar and Kasom Khullen sub-divisions of Kamjong District, Manipur.