Kerala

At last, children in Attappady join online class bandwagon

Tribal children attending a class on TV at a hamlet in Attappady in Palakkad district.

Tribal children attending a class on TV at a hamlet in Attappady in Palakkad district.  

Samagra Siksha Kerala ensures online education in 192 tribal hamlets with the help of ITDP, NGOs

The Samagra Siksha Kerala (SSK) has scripted a success story by reaching out to all 192 tribal hamlets in the Attappady hills with online and television education facilities. Hundreds of tribal children in the remote villages of Attappady have begun to benefit from the SSK initiative done with the support of the Integrated Tribal Development Project (ITDP).

SSK officials even covered the remotest tribal hamlet at Upper Galasi by travelling 18 km on foot through the Attappady forests.

As no mobile phone signal range is available there, lessons are downloaded for a week and given in a flash drive to be used in laptops. Besides Upper Galasi, Anavai, Upper Thudukki, and Lower Thudukki were covered this way.

“Those four hamlets in Pudur grama pancahyat are perhaps the hardest to reach. We are not only covering those hamlets but also ensuring that the children attend the classes with the help of education volunteers,” said C.P. Vijayan, SSK Attappady block project coordinator.

Community centres in the tribal hamlets were converted into learning centres on a war footing by getting speedy power connections.

Anganwadis or abandoned AHADS (Attappady Hill Area Development Society) centres were used where there was no community centre. Where power lines could not reach, solar connections were installed.

Apart from the ITDP, civic bodies and NGOs such as the Santhi Medical Mission and Vivekananda Mission supported the SSK. The district panchayat donated 50 TV sets when the Santhi Medical Mission gave 40 sets. The Vivekananda Mission donated 30 laptops and 14 TV sets, and Suresh Gopi, MP, 15 TV sets.

Education volunteers

“Getting the children to attend the online and TV classes regularly was harder than providing facilities for education in the hamlets. We are meeting this challenge with the help of education volunteers,” said Mr. Vijayan.

Ward members are made conveners of the online education programmes on the tribal belt with the objective of mobilising the children for the classes. Education volunteers posted for roping in the children by motivating them are all tribespeople with degrees.

According to Mr. Vijayan, smartphones too were given to some tribal houses that are located outside the hamlets. “Using television, laptops, and mobile phones, we have brought the entire Attappady under the online education regime prevalent in the State,” he said.

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Printable version | Jul 15, 2020 5:02:57 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/at-last-children-in-attappady-join-online-class-bandwagon/article31935531.ece

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