Kolkata,: Oxford University Press (OUP), the world’s largest university press, has supported Hope Kolkata Foundation’s Kasba Girls Home, Ashar Alo Girls Home, Ashirwad Boys Home and Punorjiban Boys home with Digital Learning labs to ensure continued learning during Covid-19 and even beyond. These learning labs will help teachers to remain connected with children at these shelter homes when regular classroom learning has been disrupted. The Founder Director of the Hope Foundation, Maureen Forrest joined the event from Ireland along with Jenny Browne, Overseas Director, the Hope Foundation.
In addition to providing digital learning infrastructure, OUP is also supporting learners with English language learning and personality development training to make sure that they become confident and well-groomed future professionals. OUP will also support teachers engaged by Hope Kolkata Foundation with their own learning and professional development, to help them adapt to the new ways of remote teaching and learning.
Speaking at the online event where he engaged with teachers and learners, Sivaramakrishnan Venkateswaran, Managing Director, Oxford University Press India said: “These are unprecedented times and at OUP we are committed to ensuring minimal disruption to learning and teaching. Digital is an excellent enabler and Covid-19 has accelerated the need for us to adopt technology, not only in education but in every other sphere of human life as well. He added “OUP believes that teachers play a pivotal role in the education ecosystem – therefore it is critical to invest in teacher professional development during these times, so that our educators are better equipped to handle the transition to digital and remote learning.”
Speaking about the initiative, Ms. Geeta Vendakrishnan, Director, Hope Kolkata Foundation, said: “This COVID-19 pandemic has created a major impact on student education with schools shut across the country. Limited access to digital learning mediums for both the teachers and students has impacted the continuity of education for students across our centres during this lockdown period. The Digital Learning program supported by Oxford University Press has helped us set up Digital learning, Communicative English and Professional development centres in four of our protection homes that will support us in shaping better future for over 1000 students. The program will help our students to continue their learning process during these difficult times and will also train our teachers to adapt to new normal.”
OUP started its Digital learning program with Hope Kolkata Foundation in March 2019, by establishing the first digital learning centre at Hope Foundation’s Kasba girls shelter home. Over the past year and a half, the initiative has helped over 100 girl students to become computer literate and digitally savvy. More recently, during the early stages of lockdown, OUP employees became teachers to fill in the learning gap for these students and led online learning sessions across a wide range of topics/subjects:
Maths, Science, English, Music, Dance, Arts and Crafts, Origami, Creative writing, Aerobics, Yoga, and Elocution.