Loud and Clear: Empowering Education the Jharkhand Way

distance learning

B.B King once said that the most beautiful thing about education is that nobody can take it away from you. This quote seems relevant today because in a new and empowered India, not even coronavirus can take away education from children. Leading from the front in providing education to kids in rural areas, is Jharkhand. From school headmasters pulling carts to provide mid-day meal to children to starting a Yuwa school for girls who have fought for education, Jharkhand is definitely setting up an education model to look up to. Today we are going to talk about the story of a small village school in Dumka district, where teachers devised an innovative way to provide education to the children.

Children in villages usually don’t have smartphones to access online classes. A small village school in Dumka district of Jharkhand, has found a solution to this problem. The principal of the school, Mr. Shyam Kishore Gandhi found that 204 students out of 246 did not have access to a smartphone. Keeping in mind the need for distance learning and the importance of providing education in these difficult times, he devised a plan of using a network of loudspeakers connected to a microphone to reach out to students. The microphone is placed on top of a stone slab on the village chowk and the loudspeakers are placed strategically on treetops so that students can listen to what is being taught loud and clear, no matter where they are.

The children are just as keen to learn as their teachers are to teach and much to the teacher’s amazement, the attendance has been close to 100% on most days. The villagers have also been supportive of the idea and none of them had any complaints regarding the blaring sounds of geography, science, mathematics, and language lessons.

A class VII student named Manisha Markandi said this new way of learning is especially great for students like her. She said that in the early days of the lockdown, she had to visit her friend’s house for online classes. Students also said that grasping the lessons over loudspeakers was easier than peering into small screens and trying to see what the teachers were trying to teach.

This small education movement is definitely something that all states can learn from. The goal is to provide a quality education that’s easily understandable and easily accessible. Parents as well are applauding this movement because at least students are not spending their day staring at mobile phones for hours and are actually spending time learning something. All in all, we can say that Jharkhand has done a fabulous job at empowering education in the rural areas in this difficult time that our country is going through. Kudos to the teachers of Dumka village school!

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