NAGPUR: After almost 300 schools in Gadchiroli district closing down to align with central government directives, zilla parishad (ZP) schoolteachers are now heading back to students’ homes so that education does not stop.
Since online education is not an option in the district, teachers have taken it upon themselves to ensure that no child falls out of the grid during the Covid lockdown.
TOI had reported how during the lockdown, Gadchiroli ZP schoolteachers visited students in their villages and formed study groups.
In the first week of July, hundreds of schools had reopened following guidelines issued by the state government. However, as the state guidelines clashed with those of central government, all these schools shut again. Now, ZP teachers are back to their study group method of teaching. For this, teachers in the remotest part of the Naxalite-infested Gadchiroli district — Bhamragarh taluka — have to literally trek for kilometres and wade through shallow monsoon-induced streams to reach their students.
In some villages, students assemble at school courtyard or even inside as the condition at their homes is not conducive to study. A teacher, who did not wish to be identified, said, “Unlike schools in city where enrolment is upwards of thousand, here the entire school has an average of 25 students. So, even if half of the students gather to use the infrastructure, there is no danger of violating Covid distancing norms.”
So far, no case of Covid-19 has been detected in Bhamragarh.
The study group format works at the village level with community involvement. Bhamragarh’s block education officer (BEO) Ashwini Sonawane could not be reached for a comment due to poor network connectivity, but during an earlier interaction she had explained how the ‘group study’ format works. “In the village, all students are taught together. Teachers give assignments to everyone and the seniormost kid supervises or clarifies doubts in their absence,” said Sonawane.