Jharkhand: Even COVID-19 could not disrupt learning process for children in these two villages

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Express News Service

RANCHI: At this time of crisis when parents are complaining that the learning process of their children is being disrupted due to lockdown, there is a village in Jharkhand which, instead of making complaints, took an initiative so that their children could continue attending their classes.

The Gram Sabha and Self Help Group (SHG) women at Ara and Keram villages, located 45 kilometers from the district headquarters in Ranchi, decided to arrange regular classes for their children so that education of them does not get distrusted and a proposal was passed to continue the classes in two shifts maintaining social distancing and other measures to stop the spread of COVID-19. 

Notably, Ara and Keram are the two villages in Ormanjhi block which was praised by Prime Minister Modi in his ‘Mann Ki Baat’ a few months back for exemplary work done in the field of water conservation. 

According to President of Nav Jagriti Samiti, a body formed by the villagers to monitor committees related to education, health, environment, water conservation etc, the decision was taken after it was observed that the children roaming here and there due to the lockdown which may further spoil their future. Therefore, a Gram Sabha meeting was called and it was decided to arrange tuition classes for them for two hours every day in two shifts, he added.

“Now, classes are being conducted regularly at the government school building in the village, for which, a total of 11 tutors for all subjects have been arranged and are being paid regularly by the Gram Sabha,” said President of Nav Jagriti Samiti, Baburam Gope. Though, the online classes were being conducted
by the State Government, but most of the children do not have the access of smart phones for attending them, he added.

Not only that, out of the 11 teachers who have been engaged in teaching around 250 children belonging to the two villages, two trained teachers have also been called from Hazaribagh providing lodging for them in the village itself, he added. 

“Since the village does not have any trained teacher, we decided to hire teachers from outside so that they could conduct smart classes for our children,” said Gope. Besides, Science and English, they are also teaching maths so that the children do not lag behind in any subject or skill, he added.

Gram Pradhan of Ara village, Gopal Bedia, informed that the they are paying Rs 2000 for the untrained teachers, while the trained teachers, who have been hired from outside, are being paid Rs 16,500 per month as salary by the Gram Sabha. They did not want to disrupt the education of their children as it was a matter of the future of their children, he said.

Teacher Ujjwal Kumar, who has been hired by the villagers, also praised the initiative taken by the villagers.

 “It is really a good initiative taken by the villagers or Ara and Keram as due to the long gap; the children had stared forgetting what they learnt earlier in their schools. I really feel proud that I am a part of probably the very first such initiative taken by any village to continue the education process for
their children,” said Ujjwal Kumar, who teaches Science and English to the children.

Classes for students in 1-8 standards are being conducted regularly in two shifts, firstly from 7:30 to 9:30 am and secondly from 10:00 am to 12 noon, he added. 

Block Development of Ormanjhi Block also said that Ara, Keram villages have set an example for others during the pandemic.

“After I was told about the initiative, I visited the village and found that COVID-19 protocol is being followed properly. It is really a good initiative which has brought very good results,” said BDP Vijay Kumar Soni. Ara Keram is a very progressive village where the people are quite aware and are taking good decisions, he added.



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