Are children unlearning the lessons and concepts they learnt in schools as time is passing by since schools were closed in early March this year? The answer to this question may be potential “Yes”. It is first time in the history of entire world it’s been more than six months now when children went to school last time and got engaged in any kind of formal educational activities. The pandemic come up with a challenging and unprecedented global emergency which is continuously pushing our economies and development back for decades affecting billions of lives across the globe.
To understand the impact of pandemic on education data of UNESCO can be referred which says, a total of 1.725 billion students globally had been affected from closure of schools in March-April where lockdown in 192 countries affected 99% of world student population. This whole pandemic has brought far reaching socio economic impact like loss of livelihood, poverty, poor health and care facilities, food insecurity, learning and development etc. This has been more severe for weaker and disadvantaged section of society living in rural areas with limited access to resources. The prolonged closure of schools have increased not only cases of basic child rights violations but also cases of violence against children in these vulnerable communities as routine government machineries didn’t work normally. To compensate the academic loss, private schools have tried to continue education online somehow but it is proving to be a cumin in camel’s mouth as several studies has highlighted only 10-15 % rural students have access to internet.
It is imperative to share and accept this challenge that there is unequal access and opportunities to educational resources impacting ability of students adversely. School closures are going to bring its worst forward in the form of learning outcomes as almost every student is deprived of any kind of educational service. Most importantly, student dropout rates tend to increase potentially when school will resume as single parent children, adolescent girls, irregular children are more likely not to return to school due to this disconnect. Since reopening of schools are still not definite, it has become very crucial to establish basic informal community teaching classes for vulnerable and underprivileged children living in remote areas of Ramgarh tehsil, Alwar.
The raised fund will support approx. 50 education volunteers across various pockets of one tehsil to start community classes for around 2500 students of primary grades till the end of current academic year i.e. March 2021 in small groups following all the safety precaution and guidelines considering COVID. These village based education volunteers are fresh graduates or Sr. Sec. pass outs who have come forward and shown their voluntary interest to dedicate their 2-3 hours per day for these classes which will be conducted in public building in village itself taking consent from village head, school management committee and respective parents. An amount of INR 1000/- will be paid to each volunteer for internet recharge to connect children with online content which is currently being issued daily by state government education department and rest of amount will be used to procure basic stationery and other materials to ensure basic hygiene at center like hand sanitizer and soap to ensure every children is safe and enjoying learning.