Online class being conducted by the teaching staff
Aasraa Trust was set up in 2009 to empower street and slum children via education, skills training, nutrition, and healthcare. We also run shelter homes for almost 400 boys & girls, to provide them a secure environment & nurturing care.
From basic literacy to pre-school programs; to sponsoring children in school and providing after school tuition; to providing shelter to children who have nowhere else to go, Aasraa programs cater to the needs of these vulnerable children. Thanks to you, we have provided 3351 children just this year with a place to live, learn, and feel safe. It was possible because of the supporters such as you, who played a key role in our success in keeping slum children into education.
With the Lockdown announced by the government due to the Coronavirus pandemic (23rd March), all our education centers are shut temporarily. Therefore, the Education team drafted a comprehensive action plan to keep students connected with their subjects.
Keeping the students’ safety in mind along with their academic concern, Aasraa’s education team endorsed online learning. Traditional teaching has taken a back seat since the COVID outbreak and the following steps were taken to ensure no child loses track of education due to the lockdown:
- We connected with our students and their parents through phone to understand the status of their household and what affect the pandemic has had for them. We discussed with the parents the importance of support & motivation for the child, especially at this delicate time.
- Understanding the needs of our children, we made sure that emergency ration reached where it was needed – a child cannot study an empty stomach. Our food warriors distributed dry ration packs to 13,106 slum families. In addition to this, 14, 042 relief packages were distributed to thousands of daily wagers, who along with their families, embarked on the journey to their native places.
- Online education- In our partner schools, the teaching staff made class wise WhatsApp groups and added our children (who are mainstreamed by us) into it. We started with basic interaction and arts and craft activities to hold our children’s attention and let them understand the possibility of online education. The teaching staff shared worksheets, questions, videos, images, and voice messages. Using the aforementioned mediums, topics and sub-topics were covered. Teachers answered questions and queries raised by the students via SMS, phone calls or audio notes.
- Distribution of Education kits and ration packages to the slum children- Amidst the lockdown, we also focused on the shape of education to come. We reached out to our children with the class-wise educational packs of stationery and storybooks. The Education team with the help of Outreach, procured the material and distributed it to the children. We have already distributed over 2153 education packs to them while distributing ration packs.
- Video lectures for mainstreamed children- The teaching staff prepared video lectures so that students could continue getting guidance virtually. They kept a record of the concepts that were covered in the mainstream schools of all the children and prepared the lessons accordingly. Later, assignments and worksheets were prepared on the basis of lecture videos and were given to the students. Our Project Leaders recorded and shared videos on YouTube, to develop the reasoning skills of the children.
(For example:- https://youtu.be/HZhohYdQhJk)
Children enjoyed learning new tricks to solve mathematical concepts and showed positive response towards this new approach.
- Computer education- Our children also learn computer skills to come at par with other students. As we were not supposed to have usual human interaction and children were not able to attend the classes amidst the crisis, Aasraa assigned its computer teacher to record and share video tutorials to educate children on basic computer applications. Based on the timetable, our computer teacher regularly conducted computer classes for each class (once in a week) to ensure no one misses the opportunity to learn due to lockdown.
- Extra classes for Grade 10 students- In this reporting period, the students of Grade 10 who were appearing for their board examinations, missed out on a few subjects due to the Coronavirus outbreak. As no clear information was available regarding the pending exams, the teaching staff conducted revision classes during the Summer break (in the month of June). In addition to online classes, our Maths and Science teacher assisted children in practicing numeric questions and in understanding the concepts of core subjects in depth.
Activities conducted amidst the lockdown
- Teachers’ training- Accepting the needs of our teachers, we provided them training on spoken English and basic IT skills. Moreover, pushed and trained teachers to make education interesting and conceptual for the child back at his home with limited access to resources.
- World Environment Day celebrations- We observe World Environment Day every year with outdoor activities across all centers. This year, amidst the lockdown, the teaching staff facilitated students to reach out for information beyond the textbooks. Children who have returned to their native places carried out a sapling plantation drive at their respective homes and shared their experiences with the teachers. They learned about biodiversity and recycled plastic waste into useful items like flower pots, pen stand, etc. Children designed colorful posters portraying how to make their nearby surroundings safe and clean to enjoy a safer, cleaner, and more prosperous future.
- Activity Day – Though the medium to impart education changed from traditional to online, no changes were made to the actual timetable (as followed in the School). Children attended online classes from Monday till Thursday and learned course subjects i.e. Hindi, English, Maths, Science etc. Friday is activity day at our partner schools, to revise lessons done during the week and to express their understanding of the subject through posters, collages, 3D models. Children concentrated on the theme of ‘Corona’ and some carried forward the theme of protecting the environment. Students designed beautiful posters portraying preventive measures and the role of frontline warriors amidst the pandemic.
With the start of the new academic year in April, Aasraa’s education team is prepared for the ‘new normal’ for the 3,351 children studying across 39 education centers of Aasraa. Though we are eagerly waiting for this phase to pass, to re-engage with the children, we are strictly adhering to the guidelines issued by the government and will re-open our centers as soon as the situation permits.
It has been an exhilarating journey as we have watched the children thrive under our care. We are both humbled by and so proud of what our children have been able to achieve. Truthfully, we could not do this without you. We, and the children we serve, sincerely appreciate your generosity.
In the coming editions of our regular newsletters and reports, we'll share the details of the developments at Aasraa that have become possible because of your continued support.
Assignment submitted by a student through WhatsApp
Distribution of Education materials by Outreach
Aasraa's teacher recording a video lesson
Designed by a student on World Environment Day
Useful craft made from recycled materials