Technology is just a tool. In terms of getting the kids working together and motivating them, the teacher is the most important.
Students have lost access to regular education during the COVID-19 pandemic. Governments, civil bodies, NGOs, and local community stakeholders have no road map to educate the child and serve the community. In the first phase of the lockdown, strict action was taken against those who broke the COVID guidelines by the police and the municipal corporation. Those living in slums and villages faced even graver consequences. Thousands of people had to take up odd jobs to take care of their children and families. These include the jobs of cleaner, tailor, construction site worker, making papad, making chapati in a local restaurant, and so on. Many also took up jobs in COVID wards.
To make things worse, they had to stand in long queues for dry ration, free face masks, and other government and local schemes. People lost their jobs due to lack of employment. Many of them started consuming excess alcohol. As a result, women became the victims of domestic and sexual violence. Some of these women were teachers too.
Role of teachers against COVID-19
When people adopted the new normal, female teachers who are wives, daughters, and mothers faced all kinds of challenges to educate the students, keep their family members safe, and fight domestic abuse without any support.
During the pandemic, we have given awards to various organizations, influential people, eminent personalities. But these unsung heroes are far from all these and are still doing their work with full dedication. They are taking online classes, cluster classes, and whatever else they are able to do while taking care of their domestic responsibilities. The pandemic has transformed the role of a teacher to a community worker, a counselor, a health worker, depending on the situation.
Teaching via technology
Learning to teach using technology at an older age is no easy task. Doing it overnight is even more difficult. Traditionally teachers have always been comfortable with live conversations in the classroom. However, being able to teach without the student in front of you is a whole new ball game. The teachers have picked it up beautifully without any formal training and are doing some incredible work out there. Despite facing their own adversity, they are constantly helping students everywhere to learn to the best of their abilities. Through our Shiksha Na Ruke initiative, we have trained teachers to adapt to the new normal and continue their good work.
Teachers build the citizens of tomorrow in today’s classrooms. We need to first equip our teachers with the right technology to help them prepare our students for a digital world.
My heartfelt salute to all the women warriors who saved the family, country, and the world. We are in blessed hands and are safe.