RANCHI: As schools are closed due to the lockdown, children in rural Jharkhand are unable to attend online classes due to lack of access to mobile phones.
An assistant teacher at Government Middle School at Tetri in Namkom near Ranchi has turned his car into a class room by fixing a board on it.
Meet Rajesh Kumar, who teaches maths and science to students of Classes 1-8. He has been conducting thes unique classed religiously for the last two years and reaching out to children at their doorsteps.
The initiative was taken when it became known that most children in the village would miss online classes for the want of mobile phones.
As per official data, online classes conducted by the School Education and Literacy department reached only 19% of the 42 lakh students in Jharkhand.
“As many children in government schools are not able to attend classes, I decided to reach out to them,” said Kumar.
“I started reaching out to them at their doorsteps and teaching them at village platforms used for holding Panchayat meetings on alternate days. I fix a whiteboard on the back of my car and teach students anywhere, whether it is a village platform or a ground, maintaining social distancing and following Covid-19 guidelines,” said the teacher.
Initially, very few children turned up as they were not feeling comfortable with the concept. Gradually they got used to it.
“I am getting almost 100% attendance in my classes. Parents are supportive of the idea. I am happy that despite all odds, I have succeeded in helping these children study,” said Kumar.
Many girls, who might have been married off had they dropped out of schools during the pandemic, are continuing studies.
“I have succeeded in bridging the gap created between the children and the education system during the pandemic. Slowly, other teachers of my school came forward in my support,” he added.