Learning Beyond Limits: Read and write in rural India
Teach middle school students in remote rural India to read and write in English. Covid forced schools to shut down in many rural areas in India. Children from low-income families are especially affected due to this. To empower them to learn, we found that it was critical to teach them to read and write. We have partnered with AidIndia’s Eurekha Education program and as TeenAiders to teach such children virtually. LBL is a rotation program with multiple subjects, and we teach “English read and write”. Our first rotation had 70 students and we taught 42 of them. Our second rotation just began, and we have 150 students signed up already!
Friday night for us in San Diego could not be more fun than spending with the students thousands of miles away in remote areas eager to learn. So far, we have taught four rotations covering over 42 students. The groups in the rotation are named after famous cartoon characters and the students are from rural areas without access to laptops or electronic device for online education. They all use their parents’ cell phone. We conduct the classes through Zoom! We have 1-2 coordinators in their local areas that ensure the students are all set to attend these sessions. Regular homework is assigned, and the students send the work back through WhatsApp!
After 5 weeks of a rotation, there is a group-wide presentation with all students, teachers, coordinators, and translators to share what the classes have learned.
The exciting part of this initiative is that it is not a one-time activity but a longer-term one. The activity itself may not make then an expert at reading but our hope is that it would kindle their curiosity to take it further.