A small yet great victory over the pandemic

Sourav Das, India

Their classrooms were locked and online learning more fantasy than reality because cell phones and laptops were often simply too expensive or teachers just not prepared: for millions of girls and boys, the coronavirus pandemic has meant no school at all, often for months at a time. And for countless children this is still, or yet again, a reality.

Sadly, it is already clear: the pandemic has caused a global education emergency with results that go beyond students no longer getting to learn their ABCs. In many poor countries, closed schools also means that children no longer get their only regular meal of the day. It also means that child labor and early marriages are on the rise again.

But there are wonderful exceptions as well! For example, the initiative of Indian teacher Deepnarayan Nayak, who simply moved the school in his village outdoors. He transformed the walls of the houses into blackboards. He painted the precautions against infection on the walls and he teaches his class how to wear masks, allowing them to attend school outdoors while keeping a safe distance from each other. He even teaches them biology including letting them look through a microscope.

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