The initiative, having potential to reach out to rural school students, would be a novel approach since it does not involve demands on finances, time, energy or organisational set up
Warangal Urban: With a view to check dropout rate in school education, the teaching and non-teaching faculty members of the Kakatiya University (KU), Warangal, will be ‘tele-mentoring’ rural students of schools under its jurisdiction following a call given by Dr B Janardhan Reddy, Secretary, Department of Agriculture and Vice-chancellor (Incharge), KU.
The initiative, having potential to reach out to rural school students, would be a novel approach since it does not involve demands on finances, time, energy or organisational set up. The initiative can be put in place with the active and voluntary involvement of the teaching fraternity and others interested in tutoring and mentoring the students through the mobile phones and other available digital means.
Speaking to ‘Telangana Today’, KU Registrar Prof K Purushotham said the method of initiating and expanding ‘tele-mentoring’ rural school students was that a teacher-mentor would adopt 10th class from the alma mater and by aligning one more teacher-mentor to conveniently divide the subjects of arts and sciences between them. “Likewise, each teacher-mentor from University Education (UE) and Higher Education (HE) will adopt a class each. The teachers can mentor the students through mobile conversation, WhatsApp, and other modes at the appointed time convenient to the teacher-mentor,” he said, adding that the teacher-mentor can visit the classroom adopted as per his/her convenience for in person mentoring.
“It is possible to reach out to the rural school students are receiving educational support by whatsApp to the extent of 47.30 per cent and 33 percent by phone facilities as per the survey of Association For Scientific And Academic Research(ASAR), which is India’s largest non-profitable professional association,” he added.
Prof Purushotham also said that incharge VC Dr B Janardhan Reddy also conducted a tele-conference with the teaching, non-teaching and research scholars on Wednesday and called upon them to adopt at least one or two students from school where they had done their schooling and mentor the students.
Those who can volunteer to be the teacher-mentors may include the university teachers, college teachers, research scholars, qualified home-makers, retired teachers from the universities and colleges, other qualified enthusiasts, and most importantly the successful alumni of the respective schools.
The expected outcome of the proposed ‘tele-mentoring’ is that, the rural students, whose exposure to the learning resources is limited due to geographic and socio-economic disadvantages, are likely to get an opportunity of interacting with more resourceful mentors, when compared to their teachers in the respective schools. The rural students are likely to be motivated, raising self-confidence levels, and benefitting from the mentors over a long period of time. The mentoring system, when put in place on a mission mode, may work like scaffolding for the students to reach new heights in education. More importantly, the ‘tele-mentoring’ can bridge the learning gaps by motivating the students.
According to the National Statistical Office (NSO) survey 2020 on school education, there is a big learning gap between what is expected to learn and what is learnt, and further 50 percent of the students drop out by the time they reach the secondary school standard. Far from expectations, the standard of learning expected of a tenth class student is far below the standards of the fifth class student. To add to the deplorable scenario of school education, the Covid-19 pandemic widens the learning gap, posing challenges to the stakeholders of education-the Government and the teaching fraternity. The vulnerable rural students will be the most affected in the process.
Now you can get handpicked stories from Telangana Today on Telegram everyday. Click the link to subscribe.