Berhampur: The headmaster and teachers of a school in Ganjam district have taken a new initiative to ensure that the students do not miss out on their studies due to COVID-19. They are teaching the students at their doorsteps.
The Utkalamani High School at Madhabandha under Chikiti block, 28 km from here, has a strength of 285 students of Class I to X and 14 teachers including the headmaster Sanjay Patra.
Students from Madhabandha, Pitatali, Polsara, Matiagaon, Olapur, Jagannathpur, Hinjiligaon, Bairibada and Subarnapur villages in a radius of 5 km of Madhabandha have enrolled in the school.
“The students should not miss out on classes due to the pandemic as they have the right to education, be it the city or rural areas. In order to ensure it, the teachers are looking after their studies in the villages phase wise for the last six months,” said Patra.
“We choose a village and intimate the students on SMS beforehand. The teachers reach the village on bikes. We teach every student at their doorstep for about two hours. Besides teaching them new lessons, we clear their doubts and give them project work on specific subjects. We touch one village at least once or twice in a week,” said Patra.
The headmaster further said they have been teaching the students during summer vacation every year in the school campus since 2011. “After the COVID-19 outbreak, we decided to teach our students by moving door to door,” he said.
Patra has been spending Rs 15,000 from his own pocket to purchase note books and study materials and distributing those among the students free of cost.
The students and parents are happy with their endeavour. Subham Sahu of Pitatali, a Class X student, said, “As this is a crucial year in my career, the door-to-door teaching during the pandemic has helped me a lot.”
Gayatri Nayak of Polasara a Class VII student said they are fortunate that their teachers are continuously looking after the studies. Some parents commented that the children are focusing more on studies than wasting their time.