Our “Open Class” was set up so the children can continue to study. No child should be left behind!
Since mid March schools have been closed in India because of the Covid-19 pandemic. The start of the academic year 2020/2021 should have been on April 1st.
Private schools have been giving classes online or by wassap but our pupils do not have Smartphones or computers, so we couldn´t continue to teach them in this way.
In spite of this, we were determined that Covid-19 was not going to prevent us providing education for the Dalit children to help this community to improve its standard of living.
Not going to school was creating apathy among pupils even as far as overlooking their own hygiene, which, in turn, brings a higher risk of contracting any form of sickness. We were worried lest this caused many children, especially girls, to leave school definitely.
From almost the beginning of the pandemic we established a system whereby the children received their books for the new school year and each week homework was prepared for them and they collected it at the Centre´s door; later each teacher would correct the work returned. This method worked very well with the older children but was very hard for the little ones .
In view of this, now the Government has relaxed restrictions somewhat, we have introduced the “Open Class”, classes in the open air both for the students of the Akshay School and for those of the Kamal School in Jaitiya.
We take our education to a clean open space where there´s a breeze and shade under a tree. The children first listen to advice on how to avoid Coronavirus infection. We remind them of the importance of hygiene and then we deal with study problems the children may have. The class lasts for 2 hours. Our teachers at all times maintain social distancing. The children wash their hands with soap before class and are not allowed to share school materials.
The women from the sewing group made masks for each child which were given to them one by one.
The children were happy to come to back to “school” and are very keen to learn. .
For the time being at least they will have regular contact with us, even the little ones, and this should help avoid them leaving school for good.
We hope the situation will improve and that soon we can give you good news that our schools are open and working again.
We are most grateful to our sponsors and members for continuing to give us your donations, so helping this education project to go ahead in spite of the different obstacles we encounter