The nation-wide lockdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has made it hard for school teachers to help their students fulfil their educational needs. That’s exactly why K Bairavi, a teacher at the Elambalur Government Higher Secondary School in Perambalur district in Tamil Nadu, has spent Rs.1 lakh from her savings to buy as many as 16 smartphones and SIM cards for her students. Just like private schools, she too wants to conduct online classes for her students, and she found no better way than this.
A Class 10 teacher, Bairavi was worried about her students losing out on their classes, especially since they are to appear for board exams next year. Knowing their financial background, she knew it would be difficult for them to afford smartphones, which is why she purchased these gadgets. Reportedly, she also recharged their SIM cards so that they could benefit from online classes.
Teachers at Elambalur government higher secondary school in Perambalur district have been running a door-to-door campaign, and distributing leaflets that elaborate on the features of government schemes for students. Also, they are raising awareness among parents about the special features of their school. Enrollment in government schools began two weeks ago.
"We went to various villages to approach parents and convince them to admit their children (to schools). Here I saw several students living in poverty, without any basic facilities at their homes. I was very sad after seeing this," K Bairavi has shared with The New Indian Express.
Although she has been teaching her students through Whatsapp, it was getting difficult since a lot of them didn’t own smartphones, and hardly any money to recharge. The idea was recommended by her daughter, who also helped her set up a blackboard at her house, and that’s where she records her online classes. Besides, Bairavi has assured her students that she will continue to recharge their phones, until the school reopens.
With schools being shut in Tamil Nadu over the last five months, the government has passed all students in the annual exams. They have been conducting lessons through 'Kalvi Tholaikatchi', a government-run television channel.
(Edited by Athira Nair)