On my first day, I met 10 of my students. Online.
While ‘digital divide’ is a term that I had constantly been hearing these last few months, I am now working on ground and seeing the impact that it is having on the lives of these children. Our 134 member strong classroom has had our learning (unfairly) disrupted by the pandemic and we need your help.
The class-room and this campaign is run by five educators: Arzoo Kamdar, Saumya Sharma, Maithreyee Nair, Suvodeep Saha and Akriti Sharma. We teach a bunch of enthusiastic and eager kids, who are inquisitive balls of energy and wit. From waking up early to finish class-work before they start their day to sharing devices with their friends so they can learn together, our kids inspire us everyday to do our best. Around 95% of our kids are first generation learners, and life has ensured they grow up fast for their age. Their vulnerable background compels that education isn’t a priority but they want more for themselves, and so do we.
On 14th of March 2020, schools all over the country were asked to shut down and in the eight months since then we have come a long way.
Initially, we were only teaching 15-20 of our students over zoom calls. We worked tirelessly to build a digital classroom from ground up suited for our students’ needs. Today, we teach 30-35 of our students grade-level content through zoom classes. Through our volunteering program we take basic reading, writing and mathematics for 110 of our students. This is in hopes to avoid a backslide in their education in the time spent away.
As It Stands
- There is a huge learning gap in our classroom: Out of 134 kids, the majority students struggle with basic reading comprehension, writing, speaking and numeracy skills, while the minority are at their grade learning level.
- Only a few of our students have the means to attend regular classes, while others attend literacy and numeracy classes with TFI volunteers. 24 students are incommunicado.
- The pandemic has ensured that they are confined to the limits of their community and so they are unable to explore external opportunities and find their strengths. We try to see that our kids get access and exposure to art, music, dance, etc.
- Financial stresses and medical needs at home have affected the physical and mental well-being of our children. Additionally, a few in our classrooms struggle with suspected learning disabilities, but physical constraints limit the learning resources we can provide.
How you can help
We are open to receiving spare devices such as mobiles, laptops, and tablets that our children can use to access the online classes. The donated funds will be used for the following purposes:
- Buying new devices for students
- School fees
- Medical expenses of parents
- Printed homework/ worksheet packets
Hoping for love, kindness and shares!