The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the way we live, interact and learn. With several schools being shut and classes being held online over coronavirus scare, teachers in villages with no access to internet connectivity and smart devices have come up with a new way to teach students—via loudspeakers.
In Bhatpal village in the Bastar district of Chhattisgarh, lessons are being taught via loudspeakers, according to a report by The Indian Express. Six loudspeakers have been placed across the village. Teachers use these to teach English to tribal students every day.
The loudspeakers are also used to disseminate information on malnutrition and other community issues, Nikhilesh Hari, a development assistant of the district mineral fund, who spearheaded the idea, told the publication.
These classes are being held twice a day since June 14 in the village, which is 20 km from the district headquarters of Jagdalpur and 266 km from state capital Raipur. And each session runs for around 90 minutes, and includes storytelling and conversation, according to the report.
The teachers recite stories in Halbi, the tribal language spoken in the village, and translate the words and sentences into English.
“Instead of taking classes in a school, we have earmarked houses with literate members, where children can gather in groups of 8-10. The teachers teach in the houses, and children do their homework under the supervision of adults,” Shailendra Tiwari, one of the teachers, told the publication.
The loudspeakers, which are operated from the panchayat bhawan, are placed in a manner that they can be heard from every part of the village. This enables children to sit at home and follow the lesson.
A lot of effort goes into creating these sessions as English teachers write the script in Hindi and submit it to another team, which converts Hindi into Halbi. Then a group of theatre artistes give voice to the script.
“It takes a day to make one session, and we do it non-stop,” Hari said.
The idea, which popped up while looking for alternatives to accessible distant learning, has benefitted not just students but also residents. “We learn English words for animals, tools, etc. It is fun to work like this,” Suresh Bhagat, a local resident told the publication.