Education institutions across the country are temporarily closed for combatting the spread of COVID-19 pandemic. While the disruption in education affects all students, the rural, the vulnerable, and the underprivileged are far more adversely affected.
Bharti Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Bharti Enterprises, is making efforts to ensure that nearly 40,000 students in its Satya Bharti Schools across six states in rural India continue to stay engaged with education despite nation-wide lockdown.
Although majority of families of the underprivileged children in the villages do not have a personal computer, the Foundation has ensured that teachers remotely reach out to students through smart phones. Class-wise WhatsApp groups have been formed and students are being given class specific reading material, video links and assignments.
Teachers are working from home to create homework and weekly assignments for different classes and are sharing them in the groups. Wherever possible, teachers are making use of online learning apps for children. Some teachers are also making short video classes for students to access. For parents who cannot read, teachers are making voice-notes and sending over WhatsApp.
Satya Bharti Teachers are recruited locally. They are not only sensitive to the circumstances of students, but their bonding with parents and the community has ensured that parents are fully supportive in their endeavor. Teachers are contacting the parents on phone on a daily basis to ensure that students are studying. Parents have been actively involved in their child’s learning process at home and are sending pictures of their children’s homework and reports to teachers in the groups, every single day.
Bharti Foundation’s program team, including District Coordinators, Cluster Coordinators, and Trainers are providing overall direction and guidance to the teachers, keeping their morale high. They have made class and subject specific groups and are providing customized training to the teachers, keeping them abreast with lesson planning.
“We are pleased that our field teams and teachers are fully committed and giving their 100% in these trying circumstances. It is heartening to note that parents have been very cooperative and students are eager to learn. It’s equally important that teachers and students of partner government continue to get the support and guidance from our academic mentors. It is vital that underprivileged children of our country continue to stay engaged with education”, shares Ms. Mamta Saikia, Chief Executive Officer, Bharti Foundation.
Bharti Foundation’s Satya Bharti School Program provides free quality education to nearly 40,000 underprivileged children in rural India across six states, with a focus on the girl child. Started in 2006, the program aims to deliver transformative education, with a holistic approach, so that the students become educated, responsible and self-reliant citizens.
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