India education divide – rural education come to a standstill during lockdown

zoom session at Z.P School Ghore budruk, Haveli, Pune

Coronavirus Pandemic has made world come to a standstill. Even though it has been 3 months of lockdown, there is not complete recovery or change of situation.

Every industry including education sector has stopped working. Considering that there is no immediate vaccine or treatment in near future, the option we are left with is to face the situation together and find creative and effective solutions.

Usually in India the school reopens in June every year after summer holidays. However, considering this Coronavirus pandemic, restarting schools will aggravate the situation. But, on the other hand, keeping schools closed and children locked at home is also not a solution. Already the disruption of examinations and schools has affected children’s interest and slowed down the academics.

To find a balanced solution to this problem of loss of education of children, Thinksharp Foundation conducted a survey in 50 (Zilla Parished Schools) rural Government schools in Maharashtra.

We noted that these schools are trying their best to conduct school syllabus and avoid loss of interest of children via online method. They use online methods such as WhatsApp, zoom sessions etc. However, they are able to reach only 20% to 25% children due to various reasons. Few of the common reasons are parents do not have smart phones, or even if they have, the phones are not available when the online classes are conducted, network non availability, poor connection, electricity cut so phones are not charged etc. Hence only online classes cannot be the effective solution in rural schools.

We then discussed this problem and reached out for solutions to teachers, educationists, parents and other community members. Few solutions suggested are listed below:

  1. Govt should continue to broadcast syllabus on television. This will ensure that maximum children can have access and continue their academic syllabus study.
  2. Teachers should reach out to parents and share creative ideas of teaching academics at home.
  3. We should educate children on continuation of education in such situations of epidemics and pandemics.
  4. We as a community should come together, teachers reaching out to volunteers, parents and students coming together.

While we present few findings of survey on how corona affected education and share solutions, we still welcome comments regarding more solutions.

Written by
Dr.Shraddha Bhange (Volunteer)

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Rural education in India during and post CORONA/COVID-19

Today, we all are fighting against the COVID-19 pandemic, it has costed us human lives, caused economic loss, loss of our freedom, motivation and much more. While every sector/industry is facing losses and challenges due to COVID-19, I am going to discuss about challenges and loss in educational sector especially rural education in this blog. And also open up a dialogue on how to address this challenges.

Currently, due to COVID-19, exams are postponed, schools, colleges, universities are closed. In the beginning they were closed without further notice but it was assumed it will be for short period of time. However, looking at the bleak future, where we do not know when will we get cure or vaccine, everybody has started finding solutions in terms continuing classes via digital medium i.e webinars/video conferencing etc.

One key factor to understand here is the above digital medium is being used by private,international and urban education institutes. But the rural schools, specifically govt rural schools are lagging way behind.

We already know rural govt schools lag behind in infrastructure e.g. but not limited to lack of digital infrastructure (computers, projectors etc)  poor teacher student ratio, low attendance, parents who are unaware of importance of education and lack of their efforts to help their children get educated, financially backward families, non availability of continuous electricity and so on. All this factors make it a teacher dependent education system in rural govt schools, now to replace that with digital platform due to COVID-19 is challenging. On top of it, even if we decide to implement digital/online learning , there is lack of computers, internet, personal mobiles/ devices to connect video calling, webinars etc.

Rural govt schools are currently closed due to summer holidays, ideally they should re open in June first week as per every years process. But this year due to COVID-19, there is no clarity. The situation may result in extension of lock down or even if not, we have still lost a lot of valuable time and this schools may have lost time to finish exams, curriculum, and covering that will take efforts and time.

To prepare for smooth transition of learning for rural children which got disturbed due to COVID-19, we need to push ourselves and think of solutions of making digital learning available to rural children. We have been doing just that in 50 rural schools already. However we realize we were able to provide only digital projector and few laptops. But if situation like COVID-19 persists or in future we have more such situations, we might need to provide individual devices to rural children . As this children belong to financially week families, they do not own personal devices neither have internet.

Thinksharp Foundation is going to extend their thoughts and welcomes views and support on tackling this issue under project StudyMall, StudyMall currently provides library and digital learning facilities. But we are working on extending this to have laptops, individual personal devices etc for uninterrupted learning, for serving rural population.

We want to extend our work to create a financially viable and user friendly option to provide equal digital learning tools for rural children.

We welcome educationists, parent, children, policymakers, fellow NGOs to contribute to pool of ideas and frame solutions to solve this issue . Together lets help rural govt schools and rural children learn uninterrupted during and post COVID-19 period.

Thanks and keep your Human side up that will keep you smiling….

Written by -Dr.Shraddha M Bhange

Volunteer and Writer for Thinksharp Foundation.

Web- www.ThinkSharpFoundation.org

Fb- https://www.facebook.com/ThinkSharpFoundation

Twitter- https://twitter.com/ThinkSharpFound

YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-4cDXLuwAThHXhNOazv5KA

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Donate –http://www.thinksharpfoundation.org/#/donate

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Story about our supporters-Lets Tute and DHL Express India

We are  happy to share two stories regarding our partner organisation. This two organisations “Lets Tute” and “DHL Express India” have added value to our StudyMall project by adding education infrastructure for rural children in thier school which is interactive content to learn maths in effective manner and computers.

One of our StudyMall project in association with partner school at Karad, Dist-Satara received interactive,easy to learn Math books from our support organisation “LetsTute” on 19 July 2018.  We have received feedback from children that they are finding it easy to learn and enjoy maths. Teachers are also happy to use this content which makes teaching  more easy and effective .

Additonaly,happy to share that DHL Express India, has joined us to improve quality of rural education in Gov.Schools in Maharashtra. They have donated 29 laptops (used but remodelled in working condition). This laptops are used for setting up computer labs in rural schools. This was possible becuase of our supporter organisation Samhita GoodCSR who connected us with DHL Express India. We already set up one computer lab with help of this laptops at our StudyMall in Village Antradneed, Dist Raigad  on 28 June 2018 and one at Village Murumkhedwadi,District Aurangabad on 07 Aug 2018. This computer lab is helping now more than 400 rural children in becoming computer literate. Teachers are happy, and are uable to teach in  interactive manner by utilising laptops.

Let’s tute (Universal Learning Aid) is an E-learning company based in Mumbai which is helping rural children in making there learning journey more enjoyable. Their goal is to make some meaningful positive impact in education segment by providing quality education content to all students who want to explore, visualize and apply their learning to real life. They explain concepts in a very detailed and logical manner and they put focus on ‘self-learning’ and not teaching. Students need not mug up anything or try to remember things but they should be able to understand it in a way that the knowledge stays with them for life.They create content for various subjects such as Mathematics, Biology, Physics etc. Their content is useful for any student from any country pursuing any board/university. Our content takes them beyond class rooms, text books, examinations and marks. You can read more about them https://letstute.com/AboutUs

DHL is world’s leading logistics company, and there CSR  mission is to connect people and improve their lives and they are fulfilling it by taking up a special responsibility towards there employees, society and the environment. They are doing an amazing job and we are humbled to have chance of working with them. We really appreciate there support and commitment in helping rural children’s education by there donation of laptops.

 

You can  also become our partenr organisation,supporter, volunteer or you can choose to donate for our cause. Check  for more details on our website http://www.thinksharpfoundation.org/#/donate

You can also become our partner organisation, supporter, volunteer and you can choose to donate for our cause. Check for more details on our website

Written by -Dr.Shraddha M Bhange

Volunteer and Writer for Thinksharp Foundation.

Website- www.ThinkSharpFoundation.org

Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/ThinkSharpFoundation

Twitter- https://twitter.com/ThinkSharpFound

YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-4cDXLuwAThHXhNOazv5KA

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26th StudyMall Launched at village Ambivali, Dist Raigad

Continue reading “26th StudyMall Launched at village Ambivali, Dist Raigad”

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StudyMall – Bridging Rural-Urban education divide – Computer Education in Government schools in Maharashtra

The necessity of a basic computer education is immense in this day and age. The lowest job to the highest job, the need for a computer is always there. As we become more technologically advanced, kids have started using computers and mobile phones since they start speaking. This helps them be smarter, worldlier wise and also be in touch with the relevant events of the world. This is a luxury for many kids in the rural areas of India. Hence, we as country should strive to bridge these barriers.

At the ThinkSharp Foundation, we believe that education for all should not be a luxury, but a necessity. In the 21st century, computers, technology and everything related to it, has become a way of teaching and learning. Why should the lesser privileged or the remote villages be deprived of them? ThinkSharp has come up with StudyMall, where the organization donates computers and the peripherals for students in the rural areas so that they have access to basic computer education.

The recent feather in their hat was the contribution of computers to a government school in the district of Raigad, Karjat Taluka in Maharashtra. The Z.P. School received computers, under the StudyMall project. This project successfully benefitted around 50 students from the village. They will be educated in the basics of operating a computer.

A quick conversation with the founder, Mr. Santosh Phad, made me realize how much we lack as a country in the basics of the educational system. While we, the privileged have pumped in more money than one can fathom into our private education, there are kids who do not even receive the bare necessities. We, as a community could do so much more to help these kids achieve their dreams and make “Education for all” a massive success. DHL Express was the god-sent contributor of these laptops.

The ratio of teachers to students in the rural set-up is rather disheartening to see. We have a larger amount of enrollment in the rural areas than in the urban. We need more teachers, moreover we need more computer aided teaching to be done in the remote areas so as to allow them quality education, without having to pay a bomb and travel.

We, at ThinkSharp Foundation would like to thank DHL in helping us realize the dreams of these kids.

Written By
Pratiksha Ghosh Vichhivora
https://www.facebook.com/pratiksha.vichhivora

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