Nagrik Dialogue

A Step towards Reaching the Last Child

Collaborative effort by Voluntary Organizations and Academicians

Indian Social Responsibility Network (ISRN) in association with SDG Choupal and Ritam organized an online webinar on “Reaching the Last Child” on 29th August 2020. The webinar was graced by the presence of Dr. Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, President, ICCR; Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha; Vice Chairperson, ISRN. The other eminent speakers who were part of the panel were Deepak Dwivedi ,Chairman SDG Choupal & Director Rotary Foundation RI Distt 3011; Mr. Nixon Joseph, President and CEO, SBI Foundation; Prof. P.B.Sharma, VC, Amity University; Prof. Amarendra Behera, Jt. Director, CIET & NCERT; Prof. J.S. Rajput, representative, UNESCO Education and Rtn Sandeep Saxena Director Youth Services Rotary International Distt 3011 who moderated the session . The webinar saw a participation of approx. 100 people through zoom and many joined on facebook live. The webinar was organized to discuss Digital Learning challenges and various innovations to reach out to the last child during and post covid-19 pandemic.

The forced shut down of schools due to pandemic has scrambled to move classroom-based learning to digital learning at home. This has impacted more than 32 crore students in India. This had implications on poorest households who cannot afford a smartphone, computer or internet access. However, this change has also spurred various on-ground low- cost (ed-tech as well as other innovative) based solutions to reach out to the rural population and children of families from lower-income groups. The Chief Guest Dr. Vinay Sahasrabuddhe shared his thoughts regarding स्वाध्याय (Self Study) and Home schooling at times when students and teachers are at a distance from each other. He also shared the concept of 3Rs (Read, Research & Represent), Rapid Reading exercise and technology to take us forward to solutions in such times. He shared the need to turn the current situation into opportunities and shared the example of Eklavya journey to education without access to formal system or a Guru, or School. Thus, creating Eklavya model of teaching and lerning in such critical times. Mr Sandeep Saxena who moderated the session shared recent report says Globally ,1 in 3 children missed out on remote learning when Covid-19 shuttered schools also stated as quoted by UNICEF ED Henrietta Fore  in the global report which used data from 100 countries “The Sheer number of children whose education was completely disrupted for months on end is a global education emergency .The repercussions could be felt in economies and societies for decades to come” Mr. Deepak Dwivedi shared the efforts undertaken by SDG Choupal and weaved his insights around rural India and sustainable development goals. He further shared about the initiative of “Connect Bharat” that reached out to the students during lockdown through free WiFi in 500 remote slum areas in Delhi NCR . Mr. Nixon Joseph talked about innovation landscapes, challenges and how we should address and go forward. He expressed that there is a strong need for a platform to share more innovations and that can be shared across for replication, especially now when it is the need of the hour and for reaching out to last mile.

Professor P.B. Sharma quoted “भारत के विकास का रास्ता उसके गाँव से हो कर निकलता है, and shared different insights of learning, value education, learning to live together. He also focused his views around to link the country digitally and India’s added IT advantage to reach people in the farthest corners. Professor Amarendra Behera, talked about various initiatives by NCERT during lockdown to reach out to the school children and teachers. He shared about their innovations like: DIKSHA, E-Vidya NISHTHA, SWAYAM etc to train teachers for the digital change, counsel children and minimize the education loss. Professor J.S. Rajput emphasized upon the fact that education leads to Harmony. He shared his thoughts about the power of ideas, imagination, creativity and innovation in such critical times when Covid-19 pandemic has brought so many uncertainties.

The webinar way ended with key highlights that effective models of online teaching and learning, connect India and reach the rural India as well. Collaborative learning among teachers and students in such times, training teachers to be beyond the pedagogy of mere delivery of curriculum and build their capacities more about to impart the education through collaborative learning and address the change. Students to learn in new environment and learning becomes beyond the class. Digital transformation of education sector using hybrid method of new teaching methods along with online education. Donate equipment to the marginalized and reach the last mile child. People have come up with innovative-creative solutions to the problems due to covid and following the path Hon’ble PM Sh. Narendra Modi of Aatma Nirbhar Bharat. Mr. Santosh Gupta, CEO, ISRN gave vote of thanks. Mr. Gupta talked about education repository to bring out such innovation like Saathi, Ginger etc at one platform and take it forward to the ministry. A joint approach among stakeholders and such platforms is required to be able to reach every child. Moving towards the end, he presented thanks to the chief guest, all eminent panelists, participants for being a part of this webinar. Last but not the least he thanked ISRN team for facilitating the webinar.

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Nagrik Dialogue is the face of Nagrik Foundation’s communication skills that comes in the form of a monthly magazine. It will work as a bridge for those working at the grass roots level and those who support them in any form and manner.