Shivashankari studies in Grade 9 at GHS Kadapaswamy Mutt School in Bangalore, her mother is a single parent. When the lockdown was announced, Shivashankari didn’t have access to a device to continue learning. Initially, she would use her cousin’s phone which she could use only in the evenings, to keep in touch with her teacher. But Shivshankari was so keen on learning, that she pleaded with her teacher to shift the classes to the evening so that she could attend them too. Today, she attends 4 hours of classes on Zoom and submits her homework via a dedicated learning tablet provided by Teach For India in October. Shivashankari’s story is one of many childrens’ in the country.
India’s children have been the most affected during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns. They have been more exposed to isolation, homelessness, medical emergencies, violence and stress. Their safe space of a classroom has been suddenly replaced by added responsibilities since March 2020. Since the lockdown started, Teach For India has been helping Students find solutions to continue their learning and education. Right from sending worksheets to print stores close to Students’ houses, to creating WhatsApp groups with parents and holding Zoom Parent Teacher meetings, learning has not stopped.
Teach For India’s immediate goal for the #DontStopLearning campaign is to raise funds for students who need learning devices to continue their education from home.
Talking about the campaign Shaheen Mistri, Founder and CEO of Teach For India said “By working with the most vulnerable populations, our country’s children were already at great risk. Now, with even less resources, children are being pushed further into poverty for no fault of their own. Blended learning is becoming the new normal and now more than ever, children need access to digital devices.”
Quote from a parent: “Thank you Teach For India, for giving my kids a tab to learn and helping other kids as well. Now they are attending all online classes. I sincerely hope, just like my kids did, all the children who don’t have access to a mobile phone get help from you so that they can also enjoy online learning.”