School on Your Doorstep: How a Delhi Teacher Helps Students Get to School and Collect Worksheets
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NEW DELHI: Since in a class of 62 students only 15 were part of the online learning process in class VI, one teacher, Ajay Arya, just couldn’t feel comfortable. Arya, a PE teacher, then decided it was time for him to go on-site and look for the students who are on the attendance list but are missing from the semi-online classes that are still running due to the school closure caused by Covid-19 .

With his own microphone and portable speaker borrowed from the school, he has visited the various colonies in East Delhi near his school. Arya is a teacher at Rajkiya Sarvodaya Bal Vidyalaya, Kiran Vihar.

“I also had a public address system, but since it wasn’t used for a long time, the battery didn’t work. I asked the headmaster and he immediately agreed when I told him that I would work for the entire school, ”said 45-year-old Arya.

In Grade VI, most of the students are those who have moved from a local authority school called feeder schools. This year the process was carried out online due to Covid-19. Previously, the government had also indicated that this was a problem in most parts of the city.

“In a class that was VI B of 62 registered, only 15 students were connected to the online classes on WhatsApp. Of these, the contact details of 20 children were incorrect and for another 20 their contact numbers could not be found. In many cases, the primary school teacher gave her number herself because the parents did not have telephones. Many did not know that their children were being promoted to high school, ”Arya said.

First the class teachers gave them the list of colonies, which he divided into block and Gali lanes

Hold the microphone in its mask on forays through the colony and announce the names of the students. Also let them know that even if they don’t have a smartphone or phone, they could come to school and collect worksheets.

Since August 22nd, he has visited different areas of Karkardooma, Surya Niketan, Hargobind Enclave, Anand Vihar, Sanjay Amar Colony, Kiran Vihar and the Unauthorized Colony.

“When I went there, I found that a lot of people had left. Some said that since they didn’t have a smartphone, they figured they couldn’t be part of the online class. There was a loophole and it was very important that he did so, ”Arya said.

On a trail himself he found students in grades IV, VI and even XI who were not part of the system.

“Class teachers told me after August 22nd that the number of students taking the worksheet home had increased from 15 to 28 in class VI. In a class of 62 that had 15 members of the WhatsApp group, that number has now risen to 33, ”Arya said.

He was even able to track down students who have returned to Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh.

It is easy for Arya to do this work, as he has been doing it as part of his social work since 1998. Not only did he guide students to study and work well, but he also instructed students in various villages and helped them secure jobs in police services.

It is also to his credit to be a coach of Kabaddi, where he was able to take his school children with him to participate in the Junior Kabaddi League in 2017.

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