In the midst of lockdown due to the COVID-19, all the educational institutions across the country are closed in order to prevent the spread of Corona Virus. In this time of stressful situations, almost every sector be it education, business, transport, etc. is getting affected.
According to the UNESCO monitoring, over 160 countries have implemented nationwide close, impacting over 87 percent of the world's student population. The advisories of different governments across the world that all people should maintain social distancing which makes indoor playdates pretty much impossible.
Taking the case of Jammu and Kashmir which was already under the clampdown since August 5, 2019, due to the abrogation of Article 370 and 35(a) and splitting the state into two union territories by the Indian government. The state (now UT) has already suffered a lot because of the numerable unrest since 1989. The education of the children was and is still suffering.
Children in the valley were never able to cope up with the loss in education which make them vulnerable day in and day out, because of this lockdown and several other unjustified lockdowns previously. They were being denied their rights, personal liberties, and freedom. Their stories and emotions, their needs and aspirations are fodder for different organizations to experiment with.
At this difficult point of time where everyone is trying to save themselves from this deadly pandemic, a teacher who is known as the ‘Nation Builder’ is performing his responsible duties from the home itself. I have been observing from the last two weeks how teachers from district Doda, are helping out their students to continue their education and keeping them on the track.
This effort which they are making to serve the society is not only important from the educational point of view but the mental health of the student as well. When a student is going to appear for his board examination in forthcoming times and at the same time he/she aspires to score well so that they can participate in the different competitive level examination.
These online lecture notes, lecture series, e-notes and in some cases scientific experiments which are essential for the practical examination of the students done by teachers at homes and record them so that they can upload them later on social media or Google classroom (frequently used term) are not less than an eidi (gifts usually given to children on Eid by elder relatives) for the students.
And it’s not their students only but all the students across the erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir may get benefit from them. Teachers across the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir can respond to the coronavirus threat positively by adopting the same measures.
With the schools closing everywhere and students attending from home, The physical participation of students in schools is temporarily shattered and the only medium through the students can interact with teachers will be the internet.
But unfortunately, in the case of Jammu and Kashmir the internet services are still at a halt. It is becoming very difficult to access lectures on social media and Google classrooms.
Learners are unable to download study materials uploaded by the teachers with all their efforts because of the low speed of the internet. It is very unfortunate that at this time of crises people in Jammu and Kashmir are still struggling for their basic rights of Communication, to which various human rights organizations have urged for the restoration.
It is important to reiterate that education matters and its effective use can break the legacy of mistrust. Discontinuation in education is inimical to the psychosocial, emotional and cognitive development of the children.
We need to find ways to give the children a safe learning environment in every situation especially during the present times of uncertainty.
The efforts of the Nation Builders must not be underestimated and to make their initiatives successful communication barricade must go.
Author is a research scholar,NIEPA - New Delhi