In the wake of another wave of Covid-19, millions of children in India are at risk of falling behind due to school closures. The children of our Hope Learning Stations (HLS) have experienced the fear of the possibility of losing their learning options yet once again. As many of the world’s children, particularly those in poorer households, do not have internet access, personal computers, TVs, or radios at home, the implementation of remote education programs through our cause “Hope for India” is the only way children can stay on track with their studies.
Providing Education Remotely
Back in December 2020, our HLS staff quickly came together to find solutions that provide children with options to continue their education at a distance. HLS program coordinators across 15 states in India immediately sprung into action. They collected the phone numbers of children in order to implement the strategy of hosting virtual classes via Whatsapp. If the children didn’t have smartphones, then the families were asked to elicit the support of their neighbors who do have smartphones.
This way, the community has rallied around the children, demonstrating that their education is the priority of everyone in the village.
Effective Use of Communication
With incredible foresight, HLS teachers categorized which students had which types of phones and what the availability of their phone use is. Now with the latest Covid-19 lockdown, the strategy of connecting with students in this way has proven to be effective. Video calls are made several times each week to students who have smartphones, and phone calls are made to the students who do not have smartphones. In order to ensure that students have access to phones, the teachers also prearranged a call time with parents in advance, because some parents return home from work late in the evening.
Process of Providing Education Remotely Through Our Cause “Hope for India”
At the beginning of each call, the teachers explain the agenda of the class for the students. Homework due dates are provided and students submit their work by uploading it to Whatsapp. The teachers send screenshots of the virtual classes and also the homework submissions on the staff’s official Whatsapp groups daily. Teachers are given full support and guidance to conduct the virtual class successfully. Program heads speak to the teachers to obtain call attendance and to make sure the class learning objectives were met. Any questions or difficulties that the teachers have are also resolved.
HLS Teachers Commitment
HLS teachers are creating a library of short videos by students where they speak about their experiences in a virtual class. Teachers are following up on the progress of their students by calling the parents to see if the parents are satisfied with the educational support that their students are receiving from Tripura Foundation. Children have been reporting that they are feeling supported and not alone during these difficult times. Teachers are feeling motivated as they are seeing how they are part of a broader movement that bridges the digital divide during a global pandemic. Program coordinators are hopeful that their efforts are empowering communities and contributing to Dr. Pillai’s mission of eradicating poverty in India’s poorest communities. Tripura Foundation looks forward to expanding the reach of its virtual education programs to additional poor communities throughout the country.
Contribute and Support Our Virtual Education Programs
Now is the time to be part of the solution: Hope for India. To contribute to Tripura Foundation’s solutions and to help us address the issues of education loss, hunger, and health concerns during this time, visit our Hope for India page. If you have ideas or wish to share your personal stories, contact us here.