Classes on loudspeakers: How a Jharkhand teacher is beating the odds of online learning
The COVID outbreak has forced the schools and colleges to shift to the online learning mode since March 2020. At Dumka’s Bankathi village school, there are 246 students from class 1 to class 8 and 204 of them don’t have mobile phones. Shyam Kishore Singh Gandhi, the headmaster of the school, put up several loudspeakers across the village to ensure his students are able to attend the classes.
"Teachers can change the world" -- and that is what Shyam Kishore Singh Gandhi has been trying to do for his over 200 students, who may be bereft of smartphones but not the willingness to attend classes amid the COVID outbreak. Gandhi is the headmaster of a school in Jharkhand's Dumka district.
He has put up several loudspeakers across Bankathi village of Dumka where his Upgraded Middle School is located. The classes are being held for two hours every day since April 16, beating the odds of online learning.
To attend the classes, the students sit near the loudspeakers which have been put up on trees and walls at different locations.
"Louder speakers are put up where the number of students is more. Five teachers and two para teachers teach over the mike from the classroom, Gandhi said.
In the times when thousands and thousands of schools and colleges, across India, have switched to online teaching mode due the COVID outbreak, the students in rural parts of India are suffering due to dearth of mobile phones and internet accessibility.
At Dumka’s Bankathi village school, there are 246 students from class 1 to class 8. Gandhi said, 204 of them don’t have mobile phones. The classes for students of this school start at 10 AM on loudspeakers.
"If the students have any doubt or want to ask any question, they can send their queries to me from anyone's mobile phone and we explain it the next day," Gandhi said.
He added the model is working and students are grasping well what is being taught.
The students are receptive and are enjoying the new style of studying, said an elderly villager.
Lauding the headmaster, Dumka's district education officer Poonam Kumari said all the 2,317 government schools here should emulate the model so that the students would not have to struggle to complete the syllabus once the lockdown is lifted.
(Representational Image, Source: Reuters)