Loudspeaker Lessons: Students Studying in India’s Digital Distribution | Global development

ویEmula Dina lives in a tin hut with a narrow lane in the heart of Vijayawada, the commercial capital of Andhra Pradesh in southeastern India. Her parents are construction workers. Vemula is 13 years old and wants to be a politician, wearing the immaculate white pajamas he wears and giving public speeches.

But her school has closed its doors and gone online because of the epidemic, and has effectively shut it down. Vemula practices her homework as well as her language.

Aviti Kirthana, 9
9-year-old AVT Kirthana is trying to continue the lessons through television. Photography: Swati Sanil Trafdar

At the bottom of Vijayawada, near the sprawling area where the city’s garbage is dumped, the parents of nine-year-old Aviti Kirthana work as garbage collectors. Aviti dreams of becoming a doctor. There is no electricity in the area where he lives, and the family has a cell phone. When her school moved online this year, she was left alone until a local philanthropist, Jonas Manikonda, 47, stepped in to help.

A survey in July Protect children It has been reported that children in 62% of Indian households have stopped their education due to corona virus. Around India 320 million children in 1.5 million schools, And 70% are managed by the government. Some people have access to online classes.

Schools have succeeded in teaching through WhatsApp groups or video conferencing, but there is a big digital difference. A 2017–18 Survey It found that 23.8% of Indian households have access to the Internet, and 12.5% ​​of students have access to a smartphone. Only 8 ٪ Home with children In addition to a computer, there is an internet connection. Online education is unique in India.

“At the same time, the fact is that despite living in a developed, affluent city center, there may be people who can spend the day without the phone or the Internet, or here Basically anything. As electricity and drinking water, things that most of us have, “says Manikonda.

Manikonda installed a television in the Aviti neighborhood so that children could watch teachers teach on government-run channels. But most of the areas he visited did not have electricity. Installing a television set was not an option. We had to do something else. That’s when we took care of the temporary learning camps, “she says.

Using open air classrooms, plastic sheets for floors, whiteboards and pens, and volunteers who moved from one city to another, the children were able to get an education. Learning centers are on the rise, supported by remote donors. There are already 15 across the city with more than 750 students enrolled. “Now their mothers are willing to learn English to sign their names,” says Manikonda.

Students at a temporary outdoor learning center in Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh.
Students at a temporary outdoor learning center in Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh. Photography: Swati Sanil Trafdar

In other parts of the country, teachers roamed the countryside Teaching the speakers. Second, take the cue Embraced the idea.

Guwahati in Assam, northeast of India, at Akshar Forum, A school for very poor children Those who often have to work to make a living are struggling to help retain their students.

Its founder, Pramita Sarma, says, “60% of our students come from families that do not have a smartphone or internet connection, and sometimes do not have electricity.” We prepare worksheets on each subject every week. Parents come from last week to submit a completed worksheet once a week and to submit a new bunch for the coming week. To minimize the crowds, one parent collects sheets for the entire neighborhood.

“It’s not a solution,” he said. We are trying to continue our efforts, which is probably less than 5% of what we could have achieved during the middle school year of a normal school.

“My students come from disturbing backgrounds, they come to school to save their lives. We don’t close on summer and winter breaks because the children want to come to school. But now they have to deal with their parents. They are stuck at home and have lost their jobs, which means more frustration, more abuse and at least a tenfold increase in children’s mental health problems.

Children practice writing numbers during a street class three times a week in Delhi, India.
Children practice writing numbers during a street class three times a week in Delhi, India. Photographer: Manish Swaroop / AP

In Tamil Nadu, Nalanda Way Foundation, A dedicated helpline for an educational charity. The group, aged between 14 and 17, was preparing for their exams and now faces uncertainty, he said. For their emotional well-being and answers to their practical questions, we launched a helpline, “says founder Serum V. Iyer.

From April to May, the Foundation provided learning kits to 27,000 under-10s. “We’ve been working for years to get the kids to school and we can’t let it end easily,” he said.

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