I very fondly and proudly remember the famous lines from one of my favourite writers and philosophers, Rabindranath Tagore’s poem, Gitanjali, “Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high, where knowledge is free, where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls. Where words come out from the depth of truth, where tireless striving stretches its arms toward perfection.” It personifies the attitude, courage and confidence that a teacher upholds while following her duty tirelessly, especially in today’s times. They have shown the world that nothing can deter their commitment and passion for their work.
COVID-19 caught everyone unawares and the education sector has had to brave its way to find solutions to reach out to every child in every corner of the country to aid them in continuing the learning process. Children majorly from the rural, semi-urban and slum pockets of the city are not equipped to access alternate modes of learning involving digital mediums. There would not be physical connect with the teachers, an important aspect especially for children who have difficulties in learning and understanding, with many of them being first generation learners in their family.
Yet, the teachers with their unwavering faith and honesty, are determined to find and deploy unconventional means to keep spreading the knowledge and keep the beacon of learning alive in the minds of the children. They geared up and adapted to new interactive mediums, became more digitally aware, got trained in innovative teaching methods, visited homes when required. They connected with the children, listened to their fears and concerns and motivated them to keep engaged in learning and fun activities within the safe confines of their homes.
The invaluable guidance and comforting presence of a teacher, be it in the virtual or real world, has instilled hope and positivity in the minds of the children and their guardians amidst the uncertainties induced due to COVID-19. Their persistent dedication and involvement in their work will continue to keep inspiring students and help children aspire to fulfill their dreams.
“Though you wrote in black and white, you brought colour in my life.”
This is my humble tribute to all the teachers who are walking the extra mile for their students!
To know more about the support that is needed to prep the education system for such emergencies read our Co-Founder’s views at https://www.smilefoundationindia.org/Media/opinion-prepping-education-sector-for-contingencies.html