Providing Quality Education for Underprivileged Children during COVID-19
While private schools were able to immediately transition to online education following the onset of the pandemic and the subsequent lockdown, underprivileged children and people of limited means faced an immediate disadvantage in not being able to continue their education. Due to limitations such as lack of laptops, high speed internet, and online education apps, government schools did not attempt to continue education online. The restrictions in place due to the pandemic have worsened the problem for poor children and has disproportionately affected them and has widened the learning gap between those in government schools and private schools. Chudar’s aim is to sustain learning and conduct online classes for these children so that when schools reopen, the children are able to continue learning and improving their existing skills and are not at a disadvantage compared to their peers in high end private schools. Although most of these students do not have access to laptops, high-speed internet and video conferencing apps, nearly all of them have access to WhatsApp through a smartphone. We have digitized our content into an easy form that students can understand. This content is delivered to them through tutors whom the children are already familiar with.
In in initial period of the lockdown, the focus remained on providing immediate relief to families affected in the form of groceries and sanitary kits provided to 500 families in Chennai and in nearby villages, masks stitched by local women distributed to 6000 people in the community, and 400 bottles of sanitizer made as per WHO guidelines. This was possible despite the lockdown due to our tutors who live within the community.
While these relief measures were taking place, the content team started working on converting all the activities and worksheets into a digital format. We made several new short videos to explain concepts in sync with the syllabus. Zoom-based classes were ruled out due to unreliable internet connections, but WhatsApp proved to be an excellent means of sharing the videos and continuing online learning. Between June and September, 600 students have enrolled in the online classes conducted by Chudar. The students are divided into two batches across ten Chudar Center WhatsApp Groups. Classes take place from 5:00 – 6:00 PM every day. Furthermore, the government school program currently involves collaboration with 17 schools and reaches 620 children, bringing the total number of beneficiaries to 1200 children.
Chudar's aim is to sustain and continue online education for these children by creating and providing content in the form of worksheets, videos, assessments, and other learning resources. The number of schools and children reached has been growing rapidly, with hundreds of children enrolling each month. The long-term goal is to reach as many children as possible and to provide quality education for all, regardless of the availability of laptops and video-conferencing apps, while the next target is to reach 5000 children. Furthermore, the impact of the teaching imparted in schools must not be lost due to a prolonged pandemic-induced vacation. The aim is to ensure that children do not forget all that they have learned over the school year and also to continue their education in line with the recommended syllabus for the same. Additionally, the objective is to reduce and eventually eliminate rote learning as a means of education, and replace it with creative and conceptual learning that children will understand rather than memorize.
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About Battle of the Buffet
Battle of The Buffet (BoB) is an annual fundraising event organized by Chennai Mission, Manava Seva Dharma Samvardhini Trust, and Aram Porul to support NGOs based out of Tamil Nadu. Earlier, BoB was celebrated as part of ‘Daan Utsav’, a Festival of Giving. Due to COVID, this year BoB is celebrated in the month of Dec 2020.
This year close to 50 NGOs from Tamil Nadu working for various causes including COVID relief, education, health, livelihood, differently-abled are participating. Participating charities raise funds using this, while the donor gets exclusive access to entertainment and food from leading hotels, delivered at home.
Since its inception in 2009, this mega fundraising event has raised close to Rs. 30 crores, benefitting hundreds of projects and causes of NGOs.
Here is your chance to FUNDine to make a difference in the lives of people.
With a donation of ₹300 you can avail an exclusive access to a virtual event. If you donate ₹5000 you can avail a sumptuous dinner delivered home (home delivery within Chennai only)
To know more www.battleofbuffet.org