The COVID-19 pandemic laid bare not just the inequality in healthcare but also the fault lines in the education system where students with access to Internet connectivity, smartphones and laptops benefit the most. A few children from privileged backgrounds in many schools in the city, however, stepped in to help bridge the gap. On the occasion of Children’s Day on November 14, The Hindu spoke to some of these students who helped bring about positive change.
Around 80 students of Inventure Academy started a ‘Reading Buddy’ programme with students of Ramagondanahalli Government School. Under this programme, students from the private school were paired with their peers in the government school to help improve their reading comprehension skills. They held weekly half-hour sessions where students from the academy helped their government school counterparts understand concepts. While the pilot began in May, more students got involved in October and students from both schools benefited.
Juditta Yonnette, a Class 9 student of Inventure Academy, said that the programme has been a rewarding experience as the student she was paired with started taking an interest in reading books during this programme. “We pick out a book of his choice, which he reads, and I help him whenever necessary. Once the initial reading is over, I ask him to read the book out loud once again and proceed to the worksheet,” she said.
Around 55 students of Canadian International School (CIS) raised funds of over ₹12 lakh and tied up with NGO Habitat for Humanity to distribute hygiene and family essential kits to over 1,000 families in 54 districts of 19 States in India. The kits were provided to daily wagers, domestic help, autorickshaw drivers, watchmen, push-cart vendors, garment workers and families with no alternative means to support themselves. Nidhi, a student of CIS said, “We realised that because of the pandemic, the most vulnerable groups suffered a lot. We then came up with the idea of raising funds in order to distribute essential kits to them.”
Shreyas Sridhar, a Class 10 student of Harvest International School, joined hands with children from other schools to raise money to help stray dogs. “We realised that stray dogs were affected during the pandemic because there were no people out on the streets to give them food and shelter. We raised ₹27,500 that took care of the needs of several dogs,” he said.