RANCHI: In yet another innovative approach, an 11-year old tribal girl has been conducting free classes for her juniors so that they do not forget the lessons learned in their schools.
Dipika Minz, a student of class 7 at a private school in Chandapara village in Khunti is doing this to continue the learning process among small children during the lockdown.
Not only has she conceptualized her idea and put it on the ground on her own, but Dipika also inspired Gram Sabha to arrange similar classes for senior students which currently has more than 100 students where classes are conducted in batches for different age groups.
Now Dipika teaches English and Math to her juniors in the first batch and then attends her own classes’ given by other volunteers of the village.
According to Dipika, when she saw children playing in the village during the lockdown, it occurred to her that if she has started forgetting the lessons taught in her school in the lockdown; then these small children would have forgotten everything they learned in their classes. With that in mind and an intention to revise what she has learned in her earlier classes, Dipika invited two kids living in the neighborhood and started teaching them at her courtyard.
“Whenever I used to see children playing around my house, I wondered that if I am forgetting what I learned in my school, then the other small children must have been forgetting their lessons as they hardly attended their school for a year or so. Therefore, I asked them some questions which they could not answer properly. Then, I started teaching two students, one was in prep and the other one was in class 2, at the courtyard in the beginning just to revise the things which I learned earlier in my school,” said Dipika.
Surprisingly, when other parents got to know about it they also started sending their children making the total count of children to more than 20, she added.
“As the number of children increased further, one of my friends Tannu Sneha Lakra also joined me for support. I also shifted my class to a platform built around the tree built by the Gram Sabha,” said Dipika.
Although she is more inclined towards teaching but wants to become an IAS Officer and do something good for the people, she added.
Interestingly, looking at the efforts being made by her to connect children with studies, a meeting was called by the Gram Sabha where a decision was taken to make similar arrangements for the children of higher classes so that the learning process could be continued among them also.
“During the weekly meeting of Gram Sabha, we thought that if Dipika is teaching her juniors, then who will teach Dipika. Therefore, a proposal was passed to make similar arrangements for Dipika and other students of her age,” said Gram Sabha Secretary Amit Kispotta.
Two other students, Madhu Minz, studying in class 12, and Lily Sneha Lakra who is pursuing her graduation with English (Honours), agreed to volunteer for teaching the students, he added.
“We give them study materials and they teach students for free as per their convenience. Dipika teaches her juniors in the morning at an old school building and then attends her own classes later conducted by other volunteers,” said Kispotta.
Though the arrangements were made by Gram Sabha, the initiative was taken by Dipika, he added. According to one of the volunteers, Sneha Lakra, classes were started on June 3 after a decision by Gram Sabha.
“It was all started by Dipika, who had been inspiring small children to attend her classes for the last several months. Now, we are giving classes to the children of different classes in shift,” said Sneha.
Presently, there are more than 100 students under this arrangement, she added.
Dipika’s father Alok Minz is proud of her and said that initially, he thought that she is playing with the kids at home but later realized that she is really taking their classes.
“I am really proud of my daughter that she has brought a ray of hope among the parents during the time of crisis when everyone has become hopeless. Being a backward area, online classes is not feasible here but through the initiative taken by Dipika, children have started getting back to the learning process,” said Dipika’s father.