Covid 19 Pandemic have compelled Shamayita Math to close down the school from 22nd March 2020. During the period when the regular schools got suspended , the ones who suffered most are the rural kids from Govt schools. In past one year, the students nearly lost the habit of “self study”. Parents are helpless with no provision of online teaching system by government school authorities; they neither have internet facility nor do they have smart phones. At the same time they are not educated enough to teach their kids at home. Parents cannot afford tutors. Parents of Marang Buru school approached the school teachers with a demand to find out the means to allow the students to study, instead of roaming about aimlessly in the village. Our teachers, who are always positive and proactive came up with the solution of setting up of ‘Mini Schools’ in the villages. So 3 schools were converted into 11 leaning centres- each having not more than 10 students in each, where students use floor mats which they bring from home and sit 6 feet apart. Fifteen teachers also distribute themselves among the 11 centers, according to their freshly prepared schedule.
- Shiulibona school now have three centres- at Shiulibona, Nimdanga and Jamshola villages
- Hanspahari school has 4 centres in village Kukhrajhor and one centre in Hanspahari
- KB Thol school has three centres- namely KB Thol, Dangapara and Khilapahari.
These learning centres are of different kinds- shade of tree in the open, meeting shed in the village, club house, half constructed room in some of the students’ house
Every student have been provided with mask and handwash. Students are punctual in reaching their new site /learning centre. Before they start they wash their hands, have biscuits provided by the teacher, put on their masks and start their classes, duration of study being 2 hours. Parents get a scope to interact with the parents, so that they monitor their kids in the evening and ensure that they do their regular homework and get ready for next day’s class. All the subjects are taught , including weekly classes in drawing/painting, which the students enjoy. In absence of blackboard, computers, teachers now use their smart phones, whenever necessary, to show some audio visual presentations for science and environmental studies. More individual attention is possible in this approach. Even examination /class tests are held on monthly basis. The parents are happy about their wards’ engagement in studies, so much so that they demand some time from our teachers for guiding their elder children (going to middle or high school) . Teachers , have always played the role of volunteers, and hence support the elder children also , after manage the kids of Marang Buru school. Here, strikingly, attendance is nearly 100 % as students are being provided the service at their doorstep. What the students miss – are their games, sports, football and lastly but not their favourite least- midday meal. Both from the perspective of the students and teachers, they have a sense of incompleteness, a sense of loneliness, without going to their school premises, which is a second home for both.
For the teachers , it is a tedious job. They now have more responsibilities- making preparations for next day- in form of worksheets, making copies for all the children, and each have to manage classes alone for two hours, without any reliever in between. Once a week teachers meet in their respective schools for sharing and are responsible for keeping the school premises clean. Once in a month, teachers with the help of the parents clean the school campus, so that it does not turn into an abandoned building. As long as the children are not there, teachers take care of the premises with ownership, so that classes can be resumed, once the Government declares unlocking of the school.