Smile Foundation brings 20,000 students back to school, helps reopen 87 schools across India
New Delhi : As schools gradually reopen in various states, Smile Foundation has led the effort to bring classroom education back on track. The effort has enabled as many as 19,456 students back to classrooms so far, besides helping 87 schools to reopen across India.
Schools across states like Haryana, NCT of Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Puducherry, and Assam have reopened in a phased manner. Throughout the past one and a half years, Smile Foundation’s Shiksha Na Ruke initiative has helped underprivileged children continue their education through a blended learning approach.
Under the Shiksha Na Ruke initiative, Smile Foundation provides smartphones and tablets to underprivileged children, curates educational content tailored for mediums such as radio, television, and door-to-door visits by its teachers and volunteers. Smile Foundation has been training the teachers specifically on the dynamic digital learning environment and counseling parents to ensure children’s regular participation in online education. A helpline service for children is also part of the Shiksha Na Ruke initiative, offering them one-on-one mentoring and engagement sessions.
Smile Foundation’s 201 Mission Education centers across 22 states have nearly 50,000 students enrolled in it. These students have continued online education over the past 18 months once the pandemic forced closure of schools. These Mission Education Centers have also been supporting schools to reopen through direct interventions.
The Shiksha Na Ruke campaign targets reaching out to another 50,000 children living in difficult circumstances across the country by enabling access to education through its blended learning approach.
Talking about the school reopening effort, Mr. Santanu Mishra, Co-Founder & Executive Trustee of Smile Foundation, said, “It gives us great satisfaction to see the contribution of our Mission Education centers in helping schools re-open. The re-opening of schools is a step in the right direction as it will help students learn in the physical classroom environment, while bonding once again with their friends and teachers. As more states decide to re-open schools, all stakeholders must come together to make the school re-opening effort a grand success.”
Children are one of the worst affected victims of the pandemic. Children from financially weaker backgrounds often have been deprived of learning as they do not have computers or smart phones. Their parents are also unable to guide them in learning at home. Further, such children often must overcome challenges such as poverty, the danger of slipping into child labor etc. before continuing their journey of empowerment in schools. All of a sudden, the pandemic pushed them out of the schools. Shiksha Na Ruke is Smile Foundation’s way of ensuring that underprivileged children continue their learning well.