Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 epidemic, many schools and educational institutions across India were forced to close. And this resulted in the specific rise of e-learning. However, many students have not been able to access digital platforms due to lack of resources.
According to a survey by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT), about 27 percent of students in the country do not have a smartphone or laptop to attend online classes. The nodal bodies arrived at the results after speaking to more than 34,000 participants, including students, parents, teachers and school principals from several CBSE-affiliated and government schools.
With a view to not deterring students’ studies, Jayakumar Gyanaraj, Headmaster of Padikkasuivathanpatti Panchayat Sangh Primary School near Srivilliputhur in Tamil Nadu’s Virudhunagar district, is buying mobile phones for all students enrolled in the school. Along with books, stationery and school bags, a smartphone has been given to every child seeking admission.
“Most people in the surrounding villages do not even have a mobile phone, let alone a smartphone. Gyanraj told The New Indian Express, “They cannot afford to buy, given their current financial situation.”
He further said,
“Children, especially children studying in grades I to V, need constant and proper attention. They have to learn daily to keep their memory fresh and they cannot do it on their own. They need help and we, as teachers, are more than happy to provide them with guidance.”
Apart from distributing mobile phones to all the students joining his school, he also plans to hand over the devices to the existing students who need it. In addition, the headmaster is also thinking about paying transportation fees for students who cannot afford it.
Several netizens, including actress Priyanka Chopra, recently praised the headmaster for such gestures through tweets.