We, Arushi Srivastava and Krishna Desai, teach 42 students in a Grade 3 classroom in Sion, Mumbai. Since August 2021, we have been teaching our students one hour a day online, as schools continue to remain closed. Every day we wake up with hope that the pandemic shall subside and we will be able to hold physical classes for our students. However, it has now been 5 months for us, and 20 months for the students - overcoming lack of access to technology, bringing families back from villages, home situations that are not conducive for students' learning, lack of time to teach any topic and managing low engagement. Still, our students, with each discomfort and struggle, have shown us what it means to overcome and not let it limit their potential. They are so happy, eager to learn and always excited to shower us with love. They teach us to be kind and truly happy.
The students have been impacted in ways we are just beginning to understand - apart from everyday learning, their extra curriculars, peer learning, social interactions, mental health and daily routines have taken a huge hit.
We have come to realise that our hope for schools to re-open starts with us. Even once schools start, they are not equipped to call all students regularly. Our students need routine and their regular school hours back, and we have decided to conduct classes, keeping our students' best interests in mind, in a community centre at Pratiksha Nagar, Sion, Mumbai. We want our students to see a beautiful classroom, one where they can come and dance, meet each other, learn from one another and come back to their second home - a safe space to be and to learn.
Your support will help our students get back their space for learning and growth. Please also help us with old books, games and learning material.
1. Where will your funds be used?
A. Community Centre (8,000 per month rent), School supplies (charts, stationery, printing worksheets for 42 students ~500 per month), Books (~5,000-6,000) Sanitiser, face masks, temperature check (~5,000), pending school fees for students (14,500 per student per year).
We can also benefit from old games and books.
2. How will we ensure student safety?
Only 15-20 students will be called at a time to ensure social distancing. Students will be taken in after sanitising and temperature checks only. Extra masks will be provided. Sanitising before every batch will be done.
3. Can you come and visit our centre?
We will be very very excited to have you amongst us. Do contact Arushi or me and we will let you know the exact address. Our students love to see new faces and will have many many questions for you :D
4. How will this help students?
Students in our class are currently at a level 0.5 in English reading and 49% in Maths. We started with a level 0.2 English and 48% in Maths. With 2 months of online teaching, we have kept their level constant and even shown an increase in English. We are hoping that with regular support offline, along with one-on-one classes with students low on readiness, we can bring these students to grade level.
Our goal for the students is to be independent human beings who are in control of their emotions and learning.
Offline learning will help us get closer to this goal.
Please do reach out to us in case of any further queries <3