Rural school students pushed far behind due to Covid – Times of India


The learning graph of students studying in schools located in the countryside has declined at an unprecedented levels due to the prolonged closure of schools owing to the Covid pandemic. Its effect has been such that students studying in the countryside schools have even forgotten to read and write. This is the biggest challenge that the teaching community in rural areas is facing.

Speaking to
Education Times, Umakant Kumar, headmaster, UMS Kharihara Urdu (Boy) School in Banka district of Bihar, says, “The academic level of students has gone down to ground zero due to the prolonged closure of schools. The slight improvement that the students showed prior to the emergence of pandemic has completely disappeared. The syllabus for various classes has also not been completed which further adds to the challenges faced by us. Little that students knew, has also gone amiss due to the long gap in studies caused by the pandemic. Now when schools have reopened, we are helping students to retune them to the schooling culture and also working on how to bridge the learning deficiencies. It would be a herculean task at hand for us to complete a year’s syllabus in just a month as we haven’t been able to teach anything due to the closure of schools.”


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“Most importantly the students of our school already had reading and writing deficiencies which have been further accentuated due to Covid. Since we have joined schools, it has been noticed that most of the students are not able to read from the textbooks at all because of this, teachers are forced to teach students from the elementary level. We are making efforts so that students learn how to read by making them read poems aloud in the classrooms. In addition to this, we have made it mandatory for the students to do calligraphy writing in English, Hindi and Urdu everyday which is regularly being checked by our teachers which helps in tracking students’ progress. In classes, we are making sure that students read as much as possible which will contribute in improving their reading capabilities,” informs Kumar.
“Four teachers from our school were already taking online classes during subsequent Covid waves. In addition to this, we made a Facebook and a WhatsApp group to help students and more than 300 local people too joined these groups to encourage students to attend every online class. Due to this, almost all the students joined online classes that were conducted by us on the Facebook group. We are also thinking of making online education a part of regular schooling process too. Every household in our district has a mobile phone,” further adds Kumar.

Kashinath D Bhoir, principal, Maharashtra Military school in Murbad town of Thane district, says, “Students have suffered a lot due to the closure of schools since the last two years as they have forgotten to read and write. Their writing speed has also decreased to a great extent. In addition to this, due to online classes many studies have got addicted to playing games on their mobile phones which also adds up to the weakening of their academic base.”

“Due to lack of interaction with teachers and peers, students have also lost the emotional equilibrium which is also responsible for their academic loss. Since we have started coming to schools, we are working on improving the basic concepts among the students. In addition to this, due to online classes many students couldn’t study due to not having mobile phones. We are now focusing on improving the language base of the students which is most important,” adds Bhoir.

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