Have online classes become the new ‘normal’ in the time of the Coronavirus pandemic?
During his Independence Day speech earlier this year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke of how India’s online classes have become a ‘culture’ with the ongoing pandemic.
“Online classes have become a culture during the Corona times… digital transaction and online classes, all of it is the new norm now. This goes on to show how the Indian people have started accepting the new normal,” the prime minister said.
It’s no surprise that many in India have gone down the route of taking online classes – they had few other choices with the current situation. Students attend online classes on platforms like Google Meet and Zoom with restrictions still in place for schools from opening up their classrooms.
However, not all children have the good fortune of having fast internet speeds and taking classes online, particularly the underprivileged. There are organisations who have opened up avenues for online and distance learning for these children, and guess what?
If you have the time, dedication, qualification and passion for teaching, but can’t venture out of your home, you can now teach these children thanks to these organisations.
1) eVidyaloka: An e-learning pioneer, eVidyaloka has over 1750 volunteer teachers from over 230 cities in 20 countries teaching online. It also provides two-way live interactive classes to more than 20,000 children in 233 villages in 10 states of India, in seven languages including English, Hindi, Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam and Telugu.
Click here to learn more about the opportunities available.
2) Indian Foundation for Educational Transformation: This organisation works with government schools and under-resourced private schools in remote and hilly areas. They are currently looking for interns to teach children studying in government schools in remote areas of North East India. Volunteers will teach the subject(s) they understand well and will work closely with different stakeholders including principals, parents, peers and students.
Click here to learn more about it.
3) World Youth Council: Students from different universities are volunteering with ‘Teach From Home’, an initiative by the World Youth Council (WYC), a non-profit working to provide education to underprivileged children. Classes are held virtually on WhatsApp or Google Meet if the student has a smartphone. “If not, lessons are also imparted by way of a regular phone call which keeps the student engaged for at least an hour,” as per this report in The Week.
Click here to learn more about it.
4) Bhumi: This is one of India’s largest independent and youth volunteer-driven NGOs. It offers educated youngsters a platform to educate and mentor children from orphanages, slum and village community centres across the country. Over 10,000 children are benefiting from the education programme conducted by Bhumi across India.
Click here to volunteer.
5) A New Road: This Delhi-based non-profit is conducting regular online classes to provide opportunities to the most marginalized children in the city.
“We have entered the second month of online teaching and learning sessions. Until now we have completed nine sessions and must admit, the journey over the past few weeks has been quite heart-warming as we connected meaningfully over subjective learning and discussions around current issues, their impact on individuals and communities. Both learners and faculty are equally excited for being able to explore this new possibility amidst uncertainty and resource insufficiency,” the recently posted on their Facebook page.
6) Donate An Hour: On their Facebook page, this non-profit describes itself as “a volunteering platform which is trying to build a self-sustainable ecosystem for the growth of underprivileged with the help of professionals who believe in donating time – their best resource.” Among a whole host of initiatives, they are also organising online classes for the less fortunate using android TV, computers, projectors that are backed up by internet connection and electricity. They are open to volunteers. Click here to learn more.
7) Teach in Ladakh, Project Parwaaz: Both volunteer-driven organisations, one working in Ladakh and other in Jammu & Kashmir, teach students one-on-one over phone calls due to lack of internet connectivity. Volunteers, many of whom are students themselves, are briefed on the learning levels of each student and given book PDFs to facilitate lesson planning and teach students. Students also depend on videos made by volunteers, sometimes taking help from the local school teachers. You can read about them here and here.
8) Sarvahitey: This Delhi-NCR-based organisation teaches underprivileged students in various study centres. However, when these centres closed, assistance came forward in the form of Youth Online Learning Opportunities.
“The students are now being taught via video conferencing. We have 21 students as of now and are planning to increase the strength of the students. We are conducting online classes for three subjects: General Awareness, English and Science,” notes Sarvahitey on their Facebook page. A key requirement for volunteers is that they know Hindi fluently.
(Edited by Vinayak Hegde)