HYDERABAD: With little or no access to online classes until now, at least 25,000 students enrolled with state-run schools across Telangana have now found new hope. And it’s all thanks to a battery of government teachers — spread across Hyderabad, Bhadradri Kothagudem, Khammam, etc — who are pulling out all the stops to ensure these kids get a quality education.
Apart from dipping into their savings to buy smartphones, headsets, and other hi-tech paraphernalia for the children, these teachers are also working extra hours, before and after regular school hours, to conduct online classes and tutorials for their underprivileged students — all for free. If Zoom, Google Meet, and YouTube are being used for live classes, they are taking to WhatsApp to send assignments and audio-visual lessons.
Reason for this mission: To bring government-school students on par with those studying in private institutions. Also, the digital classes — telecast on television and TSAT — aren’t enough, confess teachers.
Teachers say they raised money for mobiles “In our school, for instance, we realized many of my students weren’t being able to attend digital classes because there was only one mobile phone in the family, which was in use by a parent for work. So, now we conduct online classes either before 8 am or after 6 pm, when students can use the phone,” said A Padma Latha, headmaster, Zilla Parishad Girls Secondary School (ZPGSS), Paloncha, Bhadradri Kothagudem.
Closer home in Hyderabad, R Sharada, in charge of the headmaster of Government High School, Majeedia, Masab Tank, said she had to raise funds to get new mobiles for students of classes 9 and 10 as many did not have one. The teachers here also bought data plans for a few.
And the result, students confess, has been overwhelming. “I could not understand concepts and do my worksheets when I only took digital classes. But since I started attending these online classes — with support from my teachers — learning has become very easy,” said M Poojitha, a class 10 student of a government school in Khammam. Both her parents are construction laborers.
Started in October-November while most of these classes are targeted at students from classes 9 to 10, some even cater to those in classes 6 to 8. “We are not looking at numbers here. Even if one student benefits because of our online classes it is enough. Our aim is to fill the gap caused by Covid-19 and ensure that our students are not left out and get personal attention just like in a physical classroom,” said E Someshwar Sarma, district education officer, Bhadradri Kothagudem and Mahabubabad districts.