ONLINE EDUCATION FOR SCHOOLING DISRUPTED SLUM AND STREET CHILDREN

With the outbreak of Covid-19 the immediate fallout that affected CSP was the shutdown of the Street Children Education Centres. These one room centres had more than 35 children coming on a daily basis and there was no scope for any kind of social distancing.

All the schools that the children were enrolled in were shut down including our own in house Primary School. They continue to be shut.

The upper crust schools in Kolkata have all shifted to online education from home. Similarly, CSP also salvaged continuity of the education process for its Shelter Home children by using smart phones of staff members to carry on online academics for the children and by engaging tutors to implement the online teaching process during the lock down.

However, our Beneficiary Street and slum children have become completely dislocated from academics. Inspite of us fighting to bring our street and slum children out of marginalization by educating them, Covid seems is pushing  them back into darkness.

We partially countered complete delinking from studies by printing and giving class appropriate work sheets for children to parents every week when they come to CSP to collect their Food Aid for Wage Earners affected by COVID 19 Lockdown   .In this initiative, upwards of 700 men women and children are provided Basic Food necessities for two square meals a day week upon week, month upon month so that street and slum dwelling families cut off from livelihood can evade starvation. The parents take the worksheets on one food collection day and bring back worked out sheets by the children the next collection day. Teachers review the work. 

This forces the child to be in touch with studies and prevents total delinking with education.

But it is not enough,. And schools will not be reopening in the forseeable future. The better schools are progressing with online classes conducted on Zoom with students carrying on academics through one of the parent’s smartphones.

This proposal is to convert to online education for our non residential street and slum children on the following lines.

  1. Few of the children have parents who own smartphones. For the rest we can organize into groups who will be called to the centres or in one convenient home, to have group online education at specific timings by shifts which will permit social distancing as well.
  2. The syllabus will be covered by CSP teachers delivering pre-recorded classes/course work  live via  Google Meet, Google Classroom  Whatsapp and email
  3. This will be supplemented by work sheets and assignments sent by above platforms…
  4. This will require purchase of hardware. Tablets are best for group learnings.  Smartphones are the next best option.
  5. Data costs will be paid for by CSP to ensure that there is no excuse for study disruption by the parents. Misuse of both hardware and data by family members has to be prevented.
  6. Tutorial videos downloaded at a time will eliminate repetitive data expense.
  7. If hardware aid is to be given then this program cannot be made available to all beneficiaries but only those who have a record of being committed to studies AND having parents who are also committed to their child’s education.
  8. Educational Software from learning platforms like Google Meet, Google Classrooms, Microsoft Teams are to be a part and parcel of this program.
  9. Children will have 5 days of academic classes and 2 days of extracurricular classes incorporating dance, tailoring, art and handicrafts.
  10. Weekly evaluation wiil be done for teachers

If we can go online with Education for our committed children we should aim at a qualitative transformation of education compared to what they were being delivered at school. This present debacle in Education for the marginalised can be converted into a game changer in quality of education accessed.      

This program will entail costs of smartphones and data expenses.

Grouping and scheduling online education class-wise will be another challenge. But we are committed to continue to overcome any challenges that come our way.

Class Rules and Objectives @Shikshya

@Shikshya – would concentrate on inculcating the process of topical teaching and comprehending capacity of its children rather than the board designated chapter specific syllabus. The effort is to break the habit of rote learning and introduce the ability to not only read, but understand, communicate and write with knowledge of the topic concerned

@Shikshya we like to encourage peer teaching, hence it is our very own senior beneficiaries & students who don the role of teachers for this project. These Teachers are chosen on the basis of individual academic performance & leadership capabilities

The subjects that would be taught were as follows in the first phase – Maths, Science, Bengali/Hindi, English, EVS/Science, Computers, GK. Teachers to use the google meet platform to hold video classes thrice a week for each class, and Google Classroom, Gmail & WhatsApp (WhatsApp to be phased out in the second month)for classwork and homework assignments The teachers would use a module that incoporated interactive media like you-tube, visual story’s, video and audio clips, simple games in their lesson plan

Each week this lesson plan and class routines are changed based on the previous weeks performance evaluation

Saturday would be reserved for end of week evaluations of their students according to the topics studied over the week.

A designated routine for the week outlining timing and class schedules was to be sent to each child so that they are able to coordinate with guardians and keep the devices free for the said classes

Attendance is mandatory for all classes including extracurricular, The absence of two days in a month from any or all classes will result in the child being dropped out from Shikshya

Concepts and Definitions

@Shikshya is based on google platforms. It ensures a centralised, secure and structure oriented execution.

Each child has a unique gmail id that has been created for this program. The email id’s are in the said format – name.lastnameserialno.@gmail.com,(rajdip.shawhm004@gmail.com) This email Id is configured into their phones at orientation and its usage explained and demonstrated.

Similar to the child , each teacher also has a gmail id ex- munmunburman.csp@gmail.com for all communication purposes. Each child has a google class code for each of his subjects. The children are taught how to manouever through the platform during orientation and thereafter the first month is dedicated to ironing out technical glitches on either side
A google meet link is posted in respective classroom streams as well as posted on a whatsapp group for each centre created by the teacher.