While schools in the UK are struggling to provide stimulating and appropriate work for pupils during the lock down, spare a thought for schools in India and Nepal.
Mondo supported schools in these countries have also been closed since late March – in fact our schools in India had barely reopened after the long Christmas holiday when lock down was imposed. Our pupils in these remote, mountainous areas have little access to IT and no reliable internet connection. Their parents are also, in many cases, struggling to support their children’s learning having low levels of education themselves.
However, this has not stopped our programme managers from doing their best to ensure that schooling continues whenever possible…
In mid-April, HELP manager Jimmy Lama, hosted a webinar with 40 teachers and educational professionals from around Sindhupalchowk to discuss how best to cope with the current crisis. Schools shared their challenges and came up with a number of ideas on how to continue supporting with their children. Our education team have also been working closely with the Saathi teachers who are encouraging staff at their schools to send regular work to their pupils through SMS messaging.
Our programme manager Santa Rai, reports that each of the Mondo supported schools is finding ways to continue educating their pupils. Many households have a suitable mobile phone, and teachers are photographing the day’s work for their class and sending this as a Whatsapp message. The children must then photograph their copy book to show the work has been done and to receive feedback. For those with no suitable phone access, some teachers are leaving worksheets outside houses early in the morning. Discussions have started with headteachers to reduce/ cancel school holidays due later in the year in order to ensure that pupils miss out on as little schooling as possible.