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We would like to update you on the timelines and possibilities of the reopening of the Isha Vidhya schools post Covid-19 pandemic.
We have got information that it is unlikely that the schools will open until December 2020 in Tamilnadu. We are assessing the situation for our one school in Andhra Pradesh.
Meanwhile, online classes are going on the students who are attending them. As the students live in the rural areas, it has been very difficult to make them use the smartphones, as many of them don’t have smartphones, and the Internet connection is poor in the rural areas. We are trying our best to keep the children engaged by constantly communicating with the parents.
At the same time, our operational expenses stay high, as we have to pay salaries for the teachers, and partial salaries for other staff. We will be uploading our 2020-21 operational budget in our project documentation at GlobalGiving.
We thank you for all the help and support at this juncture. We will continue to update you on the status of schools reopening.
This is a sharing by Isha Vidhya Nagercoil Principal, Mrs. Betsey:
I joined IshaVidhya in 2011 when I relocated to Nagercoil to take care of my ailing parents. It took me a while to adjust to IshaVidhya as I had earlier worked in conventional schools. I even contemplated quitting three months into the job, but I gradually began liking the place and the children.
I started by teaching Class 2 and Class 3 children. One incident is etched in my memory – during a casual interaction, I asked my class to name their favorite food. They named various food items but one child said that he could only like the food but not have it. That's when I realized the importance of the nourishing noon meal served at the school.
We have students from different backgrounds and many of them study with a 100% scholarship. Their struggles naturally impact me and I strive to help in transforming their lives. The students have taught me to be more humble than any other person ever did.
‘Namaskaram’ is a Tamil language greeting, and ‘Pranam’ is a Hindi language greeting used extensively in India.
In continuation with the last week's report, we would like to update you on some more activities that we have taken up as part of education during lockdown.
Getting the creative juices flowing
From the comfort of their homes, students of classes 9 and 10 are now able to be part of fun–filled activities which range from learning about robotics, solving puzzles, being part of surveys on education, social and psychological issues. The students also learn how to design projects with the help of scratch program – a blog-based visual programming language.
Atul Pant, founder of Timeless Lifeskills (TLS), a London–based educational charity, is now helping Isha Vidhya students upgrade their knowledge base on a variety of subjects. Pant interacts with our students daily through WhatsApp.
Learning from Experts
It proved to be a rare treat for our senior students when they received an introductory video on basics of Chemistry made by Ryan, a scientist from Max Planc Institute.
The students reciprocated with a number of questions for Ryan who replied to each query in detail. This is just the beginning as we plan to continue this online interaction between our students and experts like scientists, economists and entrepreneurs.
With all these initiatives, we hope that the students will shine as ever!
We thank you for your attention, and look forward for your continued support.
Thank you so much for your continued interest and support to Isha Vidhya. We are indeed overwhelmed by your support, and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
We would like to update you on the further steps that we have taken to get the education going for the Indian rural children. While our schools are currently closed, we have introduced new ways of reaching out to the students and the parents, and continuing to educate the children during the coronavirus lockdown. Please find below a couple of steps that we have taken, in this report.
Home Schooling 2.0
Isha Vidhya has launched a series of home learning programs to engage students and teachers. Those home–based activities which find favour among pupils and academicians are being implemented on a larger scale. Projects which do not achieve the desired results are being modified to improve acceptability.
The lockdown has blurred the distinction between homework and classwork for the students. We have overcome the hurdle posed by the pandemic by sending lessons via WhatsApp groups. Our teachers prepare short audio/video notes and post them on the groups. Students submit the completed assignments in the same groups. A record of students’ responses is also being maintained.
To help students who need extra attention to catch up with their classmates the Central Academic Team sends worksheets on subjects like Tamil, English and Mathematics. Special modules have also been designed to help 10th grade students prepare for their exams and to provide career guidance.
We hope that you are excited like us as we continue to educate the children in spite of the lockdown. We are continually monitoring the situations in the communities that we serve in through Whatsapp feedback from parents and communicating through the community leaders. We will keep you updated on the happenings.
Thank you again for your support, and look forward for your continued engagement and support! Please feel free to write to us in case if you have questions, or if you would like to help us in any ways possible.
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