A Small yet Great Victory over the Pandemic
Sourav Das, India
Closed classrooms, no chance of online teaching as mobiles and laptops are mostly too expensive or teachers were unprepared: For millions of girls and boys covid meant no schooling of any kind for months. And for countless other children this is still, or again, true. Already it has become sadly clear: covid has created an educational emergency across the world, which goes beyond the loss of learning the times table. In many poorer countries closing the schools also means that children forego their only certain meal of the day.
But there were and still are wonderful exceptions! These are initiatives like that of Indian teacher Deepnarayan Nayak, who just moved the school in his village outdoors. He turned the walls of the houses into boards. He painted the precautions against infection on the walls, he teaches the children how to use masks and makes them attend school outdoors in safe distance to each other, even the subject of biology, including the look through a microscope.
Indian photographer Sourav Das has captured everyday scenes of this unusually creative and loveable village school. He has created a small monument to this peaceful action. It realizes, on the lowest conceivable level, one of the 54 articles of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child: the right of access to education. We catch a glimpse of how incredibly important this is when we look at the dire consequences of closed schools in many countries of the global South: Child labour and early marriages are again on the increase.