Temple of learning: This headmaster started offline classes in a shrine dedicated to Veeranjaneya
M Narayanaswamy, headmaster of Government Lower Primary School,
When he conducted a survey of the 50 students in his school from Class 1 to Class 5, he found that only five families had access a mobile phone.
But this did not deter Narayanaswamy. He and his colleagues held a meeting with the School Development Committee (SDMC) to scout for a place where they could conduct offline classes.
And what better place than a place of faith? They found a temple (Veeranjaneya temple) nearby, to continue classes for the 50 children. By August 20, this temple of faith was converted into a ‘temple of learning’ and around 20 students have since been attending classes regularly. Classes are held between 9.30 am and 12.30 pm.
My father lost his job. I was missing my classes, so I asked my father for a gadget. But we could not afford it. Now, I am happy I can attend classes here
—Anusha, a Class 3 student
Safety in school
Classes are conducted while maintaining the mandatory social distance between students. Narayanaswamy said that he expected many more students to join soon. A lot of the students are children of guest workers from Yadgir and Raichur, who are yet to return to the city.
Narayanaswamy is holding the fort all alone as his only colleague has been deputed for Covid duty. Narayanaswamy says he misses the classroom and the blackboard. “Teaching and the blackboard are inseparable,” he says.
Not to be deterred, Narayanaswamy improvises. He teaches Math using marbles and sticks. An education department official said that some teachers were making use of the
“As these makeshift classes are held outside the school, it is difficult to conduct classes without textbooks,” said a parent.
Narayanaswamy said it was while distributing food grains, they asked the parents if they were willing to send their kids to school. Most parents said yes. “This is a really good sign. On the one hand, parents are scared about Covid but they are also worried about their children losing an academic year. Our temporary school has made them happy that their kids are learning something and are being engaged meaningfully,” Narayanaswamy said.