THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Arjun (name changed), a class X student, had been staying at the St Joseph’s Children’s Home while studying in a government school nearby. However, in the wake of the pandemic outbreak, he returned to his home in a remote area in the district. Although he is glad that family is nearby, coping up with the current learning process has turned out to be difficult.
Like Arjun, children who are lodged in 90 child care institutions (CCIs) in the district have been sent back to their homes. Unlike others, those from the CCIs do not have the liberty to access online classes from other places – they require special permission which is a tedious process. Since nearly 50 CCIs have been shut, children who have moved to their homes have no means to continue their studies or assess their progress in academics.
To help these children, city-based NGO Ether India has come up with a pilot project ‘Edu Saathi’, an online training programme for Class X students in CCIs. The beneficiaries of the project are 25 students selected from various CCIs in the district. The programme is being conducted in association with Childline and District Child Protection Office and supported by Carmel Girl’s Higher Secondary School, Vazhuthacaud. “We thought of coming up with a project which will not only help these children cope up with online classes but also develop their skills,” said Biju Simon, founder, Ether India.
How it works
Classes will be conducted for the 25 selected students through the online learning app ‘Google Meet’.
Experts in each subject will be handling the classes with the aid of videos from KITE Victers channel along with group discussions and presentations. Sessions will be organised with the support of peer mentors from Carmel Girls Higher Secondary School, Thiruvananthapuram. Eighteen peer mentors and five mentors from Ether India will conduct classes for children and engage them in various skill development activities. “The aim is to build self-confidence in children and help them with their lessons sans problems when schools reopen after the pandemic. The project will continue till March 2021,” he said.
Classes will begin from Friday and will be conducted in full compliance with the Juvenile Justice Act 2015. The project was inaugurated online by N Sunanda, chairperson of Child Welfare Committee, Thiruvananthapuram, and Chithralekha, district child protection officer, in the presence of Sam George and Yasmin, academic coordinators of Edu Saathi, members of Childline, Carmel School, Children’s Home and Ether India.
The programme is being conducted in association with Childline and District Child Protection Office and supported by Carmel Girl’s HSS, Vazhuthacaud