30 teachers from TSWREIS, CoE-Bellampalli visited their students, braving several odds, and the teachers have covered more than 400 students so far
Mancherial: Over 30 teachers from the Telangana Social Welfare Residential Educational Institutions Society’s (TSWREIS) Centre of Excellence (CoE)-Bellampalli have come up with ‘Gadapagadapaku Gurukulam’, an innovative experiment to assess the outcome of their online teaching necessitated by the Covid-19 pandemic. The experiment involves a door-to-door visit of their students, braving several odds, and the teachers have covered more than 400 students so far.
As many as 36 teachers divided into four teams including some non-teaching staff, led by the CoE principal Inala Saidulu, embarked on the daunting exercise on a trial basis in the first week of September. They met 425 students living in 980 habitations in erstwhile Adilabad district, covering a total distance of 1,236 km each till December 10.
The teachers, including women colleagues, visited their students on two-wheelers and had to trek at times for long distances to reach remote tribal villages. They spent quality time interacting with their students, and in the process, literally bringing the school to the doorsteps of their pupils who have been forced to stay home on account of the pandemic.
“This novel idea helped teachers too in learning firsthand the socio-economic conditions of their students. We learned about the plight of students who were susceptible to becoming child labour. We learnt about their problems, family background and financial conditions besides the tacky road connectivity to their habitations,” Saidulu told ‘Telangana Today’.
The principal said the two-month-long first-of-its-kind initiative was a learning curve for the teachers. “In fact, it’s a new phase for us. We realised how the lives of our students are disadvantaged and how they are coping with their challenges. Our perspective towards the students has changed. We are now empathising with them and determined to transform their lives by providing quality teaching,” he said.
During the visits, the teachers tried to know whether the students could understand virtual classes and retain the knowledge disseminated through the Zoom application and other digital means. They reviewed the academic performance of the pupils in the presence of their parents. They also provided individual counselling to slow learners and found out the physical and mental health conditions of the students in the wake of the pandemic.
According to Saidulu, the teachers would meet the remaining 100 students by the end of December. “We will chalk out an action plan and teaching methods to be followed, considering the findings of the programme,” he disclosed. The initiative had helped us understand the learning capabilities of individual students, he added.
It may be recalled that these teachers won plaudits for launching 143 Village Learning Centres to create alternative learning sources at the time of the lockdown by following Covid-19 protocols. They also started 68 village fitness centres to ensure the mental and physical well-being of the students. Both the VLCs and VFCs were emulated by the schools of the TSWREIS across the State during the lockdown.
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