The coronavirus pandemic has changed almost everything - the way we work, celebrate, learn or teach. It's all online.
A major shift has been seen in the way education is imparted to the students in India. Real classrooms have been replaced with virtual ones. And while this may be the best option available to us right now, it comes with its own set of challenges, both for teachers and students.
With all the stories doing rounds on the internet, it seems they are trying their best to overcome these challenges with limited resources at disposal.
An example of this is a teacher whose picture, using a refrigerator tray and kitchen dabbas to teach students, is going viral.
If you use the internet, you must have seen this photo for sure. The teacher in the image is Jeyaishwari R Nadar, a mathematics teacher at Gandhi Memorial English High School, Mumbai
Her pictures were first shared by Kunal Patil, a photojournalist with PTI.
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1. Jeyaishwari RC Nadar, who teaches mathematics to 5th and 6th standard students, takes an online class from her house, in Mumbai, Thursday, July 16, 2020. She uses a transparent tray of her refrigerator as her mobile stand to conduct classes as she solves mathematical problems on a paper. Jeyaishwari claims almost 10-15 students in her class are not able to attend sessions. 3.Jaishwar Sulochana, who teaches Hindi and History to students between 6th and 10th standard, takes an online class with the help of her daughter from her house, at Dharavi in Mumbai, Wednesday, July 15, 2020. She lives and teaches at a school in Dharavi and says she is often disturbed by background noises from the students’ home. The COVID-19 pandemic has compelled the classes to go online and both teachers as well as students have to cope with many challenges. On @ptiphotos assignment. #staysafe #stayhome #lockdown #teacher #covid19 #mumbailockdown #photooftheday #beach #mumbaigram #india #coronavirus #pandemicsocialdistancing
In conversation with ScoopWhoop, Jeyaishwari opened up about the challenges that led her to this innovation.
Being a Maths teacher I felt the need of a board to teach my students so that they can see what I write while speaking. Amid the lockdown, I started looking for a transparent material in my house and that's when I thought of using the refrigerator tray.
The refrigerator tray makes it easy for her to broadcast notes to the students as she writes.
Jeyaishwari, who teaches class 5th and 6th students, told ScoopWhoop that ever since the pandemic started, teachers in her school have been taking 50% salary cut. But this hasn't affected their efficiency or dedication to teach students. She along with other teachers of her school have been taking online classes since 25th June.
In fact, she takes pride in her profession. When asked if she wants to continue with online classes despite all the challenges, she said:
We are doing it for the sake of students. We want to take online classes so that students do not have to leave their education, otherwise they will forget everything.
As of now, 50 out of 60 of her students are attending online classes daily. Others show disinterest and cite lack of resources to explain their inability to attend classes.
An alumni of the same school, Jeyaishwari, has been teaching here for the last 4 years. And while the internet is talking about her and praising her efforts and innovation, she had no idea about it until we contacted her.
It's a small thing I did. I did not expect you would call me.
Take a moment to offer your respect to all the teachers who have been quick to adapt to technology. https://t.co/dy8QU0fbRg— Shweta Baxi Tyagi (@baxishweta) August 10, 2020
No, don't call this #Jugaad. It's ingenuity. She speaks on the phone, uses its camera to show what she is writing on the paper, and her indomitable spirit keeps the learning alive. https://t.co/8PBjNKCpJ8— Deepak Ajwani (@deepakajwani) August 9, 2020
#OnlineClasses #onlineeducation Some teachers are actually making efforts and adapting to new methods towards the future of the students! Kudos to all the teachers and mentors! https://t.co/P41eGXT3ad— Aashima (@AashimaBangia) August 9, 2020
Maybe that's what selflessness is.