Coronavirus: This Kashmir-based Mathematics teacher conducts classes in open spaces amid the pandemic
In India, at a time when schools and colleges across the country were in the middle of their final exams, a nationwide lockdown was announced, leaving many students, parents, teachers, and other stakeholders in a lurch.
The COVID-19 pandemic has hit the education sector the worst. Amid the disease outbreak, many schools had to turn to online platforms to conduct their classes with a revised syllabus.
However, due to the poor internet connectivity in the region, students in the Union Territory (UT) of Jammu and Kashmir found it difficult to attend these online classes. To help students, Muneer Alam took to the open spaces to conduct his classes.
Earlier, at his coaching institute, Muneer used to teach around 80 students from Classes 11 and 12 each, from different parts of Kashmir. With the nationwide lockdown, he faced a lot of difficulties in taking classes because of the poor network connectivity in Kashmir.
“I first tried teaching online. I created WhatsApp groups of about eight children each, and tried sharing audio files, video clips, and images of my notes. But on 2G internet, it was near impossible. Even if I managed to send the files across, students, especially those outside Srinagar, would have trouble downloading them. Also, a lot of families have only one smartphone per household, and multiple siblings can’t study on that,” he told The Indian Express.
With his coaching institute ‘Gaash – the Light of Knowledge,’ being temporarily shut, Muneer, a Mathematics teacher, started conducting his classes in the open air. Since August 2019, school sessions in the region have been interrupted, and with no coaching classes, there were no other means to get the basic education.
"When you think about the future of your kids and society, you wouldn't be able to sleep and will have to sacrifice your sleep. This gets me going, and I reach this place when it's still dark," he told WION News.
In fact, the open space where Muneer takes his classes, allows his students to socially distance themselves from others. With the open grounds, he could entertain more number of students in fewer batches.
“We gather here before dawn for two classes of two batches. Everyone adheres to COVID-19 precautions. We begin early so we can wrap up before the sun gets harsh,” says Afaaz Yousuf Pushoo, a Class 11 student. He adds, “There are students here from outside Srinagar, but they manage to reach on time because, after months, we are finally having proper classes.”
Edited by Suman Singh