Covid-19 was unprecedented in its arrival as well as its lasting effects; some of which were are not even aware of at the moment. It has affected each and every section of society in various ways; but one section it has hugely affected adversely is the formal education sector of the underprivileged communities we support.
After almost 9 months; some of the children began to go back to school from November 2020. The schools were open for the older children who are studying in the 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th standards.
The children from 1st to 8th standard continued their classes from home through online classes or video classes telecasted on television channels. From about Mid-January schools reopened for most children except those who are very young(below 10 years of age); children attend physical school on alternative days for a half-day 9.15 am to 12.30 pm (without the Government midday meal).
After school children used to come to our community centre to receive lunch; Sharana continues to provide over 200 packets of cooked lunch packets to children and the elderly of the village.
The social workers found that after such a long break, the children were struggling to cope with their studies. Also after school, the children were not spending much time in their studies, they were mostly helping out with household chores, playing or roaming around in the village. To address the need for support in understanding what was taught at school and to help children complete their homework, we planned to restart the tuition classes in our community centre.
From 10th February, the homework help centre was restarted keeping all hygiene and safety protocols in place such as thermal scanning of temperature, hand sanitizing, as well as compulsory mask-wearing and maintaining social distance.
The children are organised in two batches, the first batch that consists of children between standards 3-5(230-4 pm) and the second batch of children between standards 6-8. (4-530 pm). Two teachers are appointed in the tuition centre, one teacher focuses on English, Maths, and Science and the other teacher focuses on Tamil and Social Science.
Since all the children completed their homework and tuition support by 530 pm; they are also free to play and unwind in the village with their friends and relatives in the evening. Sharana truly believes that playing and spending meaningful time also has a huge role in creating happy children and families.