Several teachers from a government-aided school in Trichy, Tamil Nadu have been helping the students who were unable to join the online classes due to the unavailability of gadgets. These teachers have been visiting the homes of students to help them keep pace with academic activity, as they are unable to afford online learning due to lack of resources. In the last few months, many students in the high and higher secondary classes of Ponniah higher secondary school, Palakkari were found to be forging the classes and going for work to support their families. The authorities of the school found out that these students were unable to attend the classes as they couldn’t afford gadgets. The school teachers worked hard to identify such students and started visiting them at their homes to engage them through assignments and homework.
Talking about the precarious situation, Geevarghese Mathew, correspondent and headmaster of the school said, “These students would certainly drop out if the schools are not allowed to reopen in another few weeks.”
“We are attempting to prevent these children from dropping out by taking efforts to impart education at their door step,” he added.
Ponniah higher secondary school is 92 years old, with around 2300 students from classes 1 to X11. About 60 per cent of the students were able to follow video classes uploaded on the school’s website, while the rest were cut off. So far, the teachers have visited approximately 200 houses of students since mid-August. The students were found working on grocery stores, textile units, and doing other works.
One of the teachers, Jeevadoss Babu, said that they told the parents not to send their children for work, as it could affect their education. “They may not listen considering their economic condition. So, we want to ensure that these students don’t lose touch with their studies by visiting them regularly,” he said.
A class X11 students, Jeevitha says that she may not have touched her books, if not for the teachers who came to her place. Before her teachers helped her, she used to work 10 hours in a grocery store. “While it is tiring to study after coming back from work, teachers have been motivating me to revise the portions in the evening,” she said.