The number of children, youth and adults not attending schools or educational institutions because of COVID-19 has spiked globally. In India alone, an estimated 300 million learners across all age groups are out of school right now. Though temporary, school closures have a significant impact on students, even more so in vulnerable and underprivileged contexts. Fear about health, disruption in livelihoods and stoppage of normal life – all lead to anxiety in families and communities. Children are not immune to tensions around them. In these times, it is important to engage children in activities that bring down stress, take minds off the crisis and gradually create an environment where learning can continue. Ensuring that their spirits are high and that they have opportunities for engagement and learning – is our first step to relief.
To enable this, we have launched a daily engagement activity titled Karona, Thodi Masti, Thodi Padhai (Do it: A little fun, a little study) that equips parents to continue their child\\\’s learning process even during school closure. Through a series of curated SMS and WhatsApp messages, we share text/video/audio content focused on hands-on learning activities. While the Masti videos engage students in art, music, and theatre, the Padhai ones focus on language, math, English and science learning. These messages are available 10 regional languages and English.
So far, we have reached children in over 11,000 communities across 20 states in India through daily content. The content is also being shared with more than 100 partners across the country and several collaborations are being explored across borders as well.