HEMGIR (SUNDARGARH): At a time when online education remains out of reach for school students in rural areas due to poor internet connectivity and unavailability of smart phones, Phanindra Singh, a college student from Kuarkela village is on a mission to ensure they do not miss out on their studies.
Phanindra, after attending his classes online, devotes two hours to teaching students of Class VI to VIII at a club room in the village.Disruption in regular classes due to the Covid-19 pandemic has left students in rural areas in a lurch. “Online education remains out of reach for a majority of poor students who do not have access to smart phones. Poor internet connectivity in villages is another concern for them,” he said. Phanindra gets exhausted at times but his objective of helping such students so that they remain connected to books keeps him going.
Phanindra is not alone in this noble task. Binay Bhoi, a Plus II student too teaches a group of students from Class I to V at the village club room in the morning. Both of them have been teaching the students since August 10 after being inspired by the local Mahila Sangram Samiti (MSS), which has been encouraging educated rural youths to take remedial classes in these tough times.
MSS, the district wing of the Odisha Mahila Shramajibi Manch, has been working as a pressure group to improve school education and infrastructure, said its Sundargarh coordinator Reena Behera. She said the drive to organise classes for students in rural areas has been going on since July 6 and till now 20 villages of Hemgir, 11 of Subdega and three of Tangarpali have been covered. Such classes at two villages in Kutra block were stopped after detection of Covid-19 positive cases in the areas. Reena said said a majority of students attending the classes are tribals and economically deprived and need regular attention.
MSS joint convenor Rajesh Biswal said the classes are held in batches of six students who are also educated on the importance of hand wash and personal hygiene. Kuarkela ward member Prithviraj Singh said the students, who earlier spent their time playing or fishing, are now studying daily.