Karnataka

Teacher comes up with tree-top solution to overcome poor network connectivity

C.S. Satheesha keeps children from Ist to 5th standard engaged with a slew of exercises in English, Kannada and mathematics, going beyond the syllabus.  

A school teacher in Mullur village in Kodagu district has hit upon a tree-top solution to digitally connect with his students and ensure continuity of their education during the COVID-19 pandemic.

He has fabricated a make-shift room atop a mango tree using locally available materials, including bamboo and grass, besides waste materials.

Constructed at a height of 20 feet from the ground, this has helped overcome the problem of weak reception and signal of service providers in this remote village, located about 20 km from Somwarpet, which is the nearest town.

The tree-top classroom built by C.S. Satheesha, a school teacher, in Mullur village in Kodagu district.

The tree-top classroom built by C.S. Satheesha, a school teacher, in Mullur village in Kodagu district.  

 

C.S. Satheesha is a teacher at the Government Lower Primary School in Mullur. He handles classes for students from Ist to 5th standard. But the COVID-19 pandemic and the consequent lockdown resulted in disruption of education of children. The impact is more in rural areas, among tribals and first-generation learners as they lack facilities or parental backup, which their urban counterparts have, to ensure continuity in learning.

Hence, Satheesha thought of keeping them engaged during the lockdown with a slew of exercises in English, Kannada and mathematics, going beyond the syllabus.

But connectivity issues forced Satheesha to do some out-of-the-box thinking. He decided to work from a tree top. It took him two months to build a classroom atop a tree.

A conventional RCC roof may have made things easier but Satheesha’s house is tiled and sloped – a building practice that is common in the coastal belt where rains are heavy – and hence he thought of this ingenious solution.

Atop the tree, the teacher not only feels safe, but a double layer of tarpaulin ensures that the make-shift office, where he imparts online classes, remains water-proof. He invested in a mobile stand and also procured a focus light, which ensures better visibility to children at the other end.

“In case of students who do not have a smartphone, I personally distribute exercise sheets during my rounds in the village as part of my COVID-19 duty with an instruction that the answer sheets would be collected by evening,” said Mr. Satheesha.

The online classes also focus on the immediate surroundings of the children. They are asked to identify a bulb, a mirror, a furniture or anything around them and describe their function in full sentences in English. Not only has this endeavour ensured continuity in learning, but children are learning how to make short videos and upload them, using the internet, for evaluation.

The day starts with a ‘WhatsApp Challenge’ comprising a set of questions tailor-made for each student, and sent out by the teacher. By evening, the challenge is accepted!


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Printable version | Dec 9, 2021 7:35:40 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/teacher-comes-up-with-tree-top-solution-to-overcome-poor-network-connectivity/article35010613.ece

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