Online education was a saviour for schools and students alike in India during the pandemic. While the fear of infections loomed large upon us it kept our kids safe and allowed them to continue their studies uninterrupted. It was a challenging concept, to begin with, but the effort teachers put in to make it a rewarding experience deserves both praise and gratitude. Although many of us regrettably let screens replace real teachers and friends, we had precious little choice. However, the affordability of smartphones, connectivity issues, and parental absence implied that a large chunk of children in urban as well as rural areas had no access to education during this time. How will these kids make up for the lost time?
Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009, gives every child the right to receive full-time quality elementary education in a neighbourhood school. It is a wonderful initiative by the government to ensure that no child is deprived of formal education in his/her formative years irrespective of their economic background or caste. However, as noble as it sounds, is it enough? Can we let a bright mind lose its luster just because it wasn’t empowered to shine on its own later? What part can we, as parents and citizens of India, play in their development?
Give away your kids’ old books and gadgets
Whether it is course books or story books, kids tend to put them away as they grow up. Gadgets like old tablets, smartphones, etc in working condition are often discarded for new ones. Not only are they expensive but also not easily available sometimes. Inquire with your maid, watchman, and other helpers before flinging them off in scrap. Encourage your kids to use their stuff with care so they don’t ruin them. This way they learn to be responsible as well.
Make your neighbourhood your classroom
Knowledge shouldn’t be shared at a price every time, right? Also, you don’t necessarily need to be a professional to share it. All one needs is the right intent and basic foundation to go ahead. Even if you aren’t a teacher, you can conduct free classes for young kids in your neighbourhood. You can show them educational videos to reinstate your point. Lock in a comfortable space at set timings in a week and do remember to take prior permission of their parents. Active participation depends on how you engage them.
Volunteer work with local NGOs
There are many NGOs in India like Udaan India Foundation, Vanavil Trust, Vidya and Child, etc that actively work towards providing access to education for underprivileged children. From giving them a secure learning environment to educating them to make a livelihood, they’re tirelessly committed. You can be part of this noble work and reach out to kids from different backgrounds and areas. You can take and provide inputs to make it a rewarding experience for everyone involved.
Sponsorship and donations
As parents we struggle to give our kids the best but what about those who can’t? Sponsoring someone’s education is a huge responsibility, although not a burden one might presume. This might be a tad challenging since it needs an acute background check as well as financial feasibility, yet can be achieved with the right school selection and planning. If this seems like an uphill task you can donate to several NGOs in India who do the same job on a larger scale. Silver lining: You can avail of tax benefits for it under Section 80G.
Today’s kids are the scientists, doctors, and teachers of tomorrow’s India. They are our future and to ensure that it’s bright and secure we must enrich their minds and souls with a good education. If we can make a difference in even one child’s life with our contribution, our purpose is served. Isn’t it?
This post is part of #CauseAChatter with Blogchatter
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