Lockdown Learning @ The Premkishor Sikchi High School

Lockdown Learning @ The Premkishor Sikchi High School

The summer of 2020 came and went..but the lockdown persisted!

It posed a challenging situation for the teaching staff of the Premkishor Sikchi Madhymik Shala, a stateboard certified high school run by Premkishor Sikchi Charitable Trust providing subsidized education to about 300 children of the economically challenged farmers and laborers of Walgaon and surrounding  region.

Well, Covid or no-Covid, it was high time that children got back to a more formal, guided, learning. But how do you remotely teach these students whose families cannot afford any computers or digital devices?! The max they have is a family mobile(and even that is not a guarantee!) that is often shared amongst 4-5 family members!  And is typically in possession of the man of the house through the day! So no question of conducting zoom meetings during the daytime hours! 

But every problem, if seen as an opportunity can bring about a creative solution!

The Principal, Manisha Nirmal ji along with the teachers at the Sikchi School came up with a brilliant solution to solve this.

They used Whatsapp, the most pervasive platform across the masses to impart study lessons. They created a class-wise whatsapp group where each student’s mobile-holder parent is enrolled.  Each subject matter teacher creates short daily videos (mostly bilingual for easier grasping) of their lesson plan and posts it on the respective group. The student has to go through these videos at a convenient time of the day and submit their homework assignments the next day by sending in photos of their assignment worksheets. The teachers are available on call for any queries that the student may have.

An WhatsApp video lesson by the Premkishor Sikchi School teacher explaining to children, via a simple poem, the impact of surroundings on our thought process, with an objective to broaden their perspective!

Another video lesson on the basics concepts of circle for 4th grade students!

And an endearing Hindi essay online HW submission by a 5th grade student on maa – mother!

The most encouraging news is that the children have adapted quite well to all this. Some are actually thriving in this mode since now they have a easily accessible recorded version of each lesson plan that can be referred to, when needed; while others are happily helping their closely located friends with the lesson plans if they don’t have any mobile access. This is giving them an opportunity to hone in on other life skills such as being more self-guided, sharing, collaboration, and being more organized and timely … And of course, this has created an active triangle of influence, making parents also more accountable and involved in their wards academic progress and development. 

As they get more adept at this, the plan is to create more engaging homework assignments such as art, craft or skill based projects on the math or science concepts they learn and to incorporate other faculties like dance, music and physical education into the mix.  

Student-made Arts and Crafts projects for the Green’s Day!

And there in the rural, technologically challenged setup of the Walgaon region, they have shown us once again, that innovation is not restricted to the upper echelons, that often times, its more commonplace amongst common men (and women) with ingenious minds and firm resolutes.

Those with a foresight of seeing change as an opportunity, not a threat!

And who care enough to bring about new ways to tackle the new normal!

Other measures taken by The Sikchi School for the safety and benefit of the students:

Regular health checkups conducted for all students by local physicians!


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