Teacher’s Day is celebrated every year on 5 September in India. It marks the birth anniversary of Dr S. Radhakrishnan, former president of India. As he was a beloved teacher and a favourite with his students, it was decided that his birthday should be celebrated as Teacher’s Day across the country.
When the COVID-19 pandemic broke out in early 2020, everyone was at a loss on how to deal with the situation. Among the worst affected were students and teachers, especially from the vulnerable communities. Unlike those with means and money, these children were left without any way to continue their education. As a result, the contribution of teachers has been vital to ensure that children’s education continues.
This Teacher’s Day, Smile Foundation salutes the contribution of teachers in these difficult times.
Celebrating innovation on Teacher’s Day
Sonali is responsible for teaching the higher classes at a centre for learners with Santhali background. Most of these students are first-generation learners and have a hard time grasping the subjects and topics in the curriculum. Thus, the challenges thrown by COVID threw them for a spin. Learning through online mode was even more difficult for them and was leading to a situation without hope.
Sonali belongs to a simple background and had limited knowledge of the Internet. To overcome this, she printed question papers of every subject and class to circulate among the students. Even under total lockdown, she was part of the team of teachers at food distribution centres distributing worksheets along with dry ration.
Through sheer determination, Sonali has developed a remote learning centre in all the village sin her area. The teachers here give all the students question papers each week, which they need to complete and bring back the next week. The centres maintain all COVID-19 protocols. Through this initiative, Sonali succeeded in maintaining a learning habit amongst students and also spread awareness about COVID-19 in the community. Sonali has proved to be not only a great teacher but also a change agent of the society.
All of us at Smile Foundation salute her grit and determination.