"In February, we had a social lesson about women empowerment. After learning that 2/3 illiterate people in the world are women and that women in rural India struggle a lot more, I wanted to do something about it. This information bothered me so much that I went online and tried to learn more. "Thus begins a blogpost by an 8th grade student at Vidyaniketan Matriculation, a private school providing a truly holistic educational experience to low-income families in Chennai. You may be interested to know that this quote from the blog is a male student's.
Just when the pandemic hit, the school management was terrified about the implications of disrupted student learning such as lagging academic progress, loss of routine and discipline at home, anxiety and stress of the board exam writing kids who were going to be isolated in their homes and the biggest one of them all: risk of children dropping out of education.
The teachers at Vidyaniketan also come from the same community as the students and without missing a beat, they mastered video conferencing, google forms, powerpoint presentations and unique teaching practices on an alien online medium over the summer and started online classes for their students. All the while worried about when the next salary will come, in order to support their own families and children. But many of the families have lost jobs, incurred high expenses for accessing healthcare services, suffered pay cuts and strugging to keep their children in what to them is "the best school".
We are asking you to take a stand against children being the casualties of this pandemic and ensure thatchildren's hands-on learning and steady march towards higher socio-economic mobility does not come to a grinding halt. Your donation will support teachers and students in taking care of the economic health of their highly at-risk families and emerge from this pandemic with optimism in others, themselves and the future with hands full of skills, knowledge and health.