Unlike urban communities where schools have already adopted remote learning solutions, there is limited access to dedicated devices, amongst peri-urban and rural community stakeholders. Lack of connectivity and tech-savviness is posing major roadblocks in the transition to online learning. The expected impact on local communities if the lockdown continues and schools remain closed for a longer period will be harder to combat due to the inherent challenges in these areas, such as limited access to dedicated devices for students, low technology readiness of school staff who often have had limited exposure to online tools and methods of delivery and teaching.
Below you will find three examples of initiatives our HundrED Ambassadors and Innovators have taken to help combat the disruptive effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in India.
Learning Forward India, a professional learning community-led by Sandeep and Devanjali Dutt is helping galvanise their community to handle the social and emotional connect on the ground in the lockdown. Devanjali shares,
"Before the COVID-19 Crisis, Professional Learning seemed a drag and most teachers were not finding the necessary space and time to look at their personal and social development needs. Today, as we do not have formal school, the focus is on their skill development, they need a plan for the day and look forward to a structured approach. The Joy Of Learning Program (our flagship offering) was built to help teachers at this hour of crises, with a focus on the values that will help children be prepared for the future, overcome the social upheaval, and learn to appreciate the community as well as the environment. "
Learning Forward has taken this lockdown as an opportunity to coach teachers. Multiple studies reveal that teachers’ capacity building strategies enhance students’ performance. Supporting teachers positively also furthers the growth of other key stakeholders, such as students and parents, within learning communities. As a professional learning organisation supporting nearly 400 members and five schools, Learning Forward has taken the following steps:
- Delivering support modules to coach and enable teachers to overcome their tech roadblocks by offering sessions on using various tools and applications
- Offering their flagship professional development programs across 11 sessions of both structured training sessions and self-directed professional learning with increasing amounts of self-directed time as they progress from week to week.
- Providing regular webinars and short sessions on defined themes chosen by the target group to support them in their individual learning journeys.
- Hosting short remote group sessions to take on assignments and discuss solutions to chosen in-class scenarios.
- Conducting dedicated one on one sessions for school leaders/principals to mentor and guide them in the task of remotely managing teaching and non-teaching staff.
- Sharing best practices and inspirational stories across social platforms to applaud and recognise steps taken by their target communities to fight the on-ground impact of the pandemic