'Collecting Photos of Students Watching Telecasts'
Updated: Oct 12, 2022
Q: Were you involved in any pandemic-related tasks, beyond learning activities? If yes, are they now over or have they changed?
Cluster Resource Centre Coordinator (CRCC): Yes, I was assigned duty at the railway station. I had to keep a track of migrants. The information I collected included: where they were coming from; which Panchayat they were going to; if they had been tested for COVID-19, etc.
I have been free of this task for the last couple of days now.
I am presently involved in a special programme of enrolling children of migrants in local schools, with the help of teachers and headteachers. The list of these children is provided to the Block Office.
Q: Did you regularly go to school during April to June? If yes, what were your main tasks during that period?
CRCC: No, I was assigned pandemic duty. I started going to the school only after my duty was modified. In school, my main task has been to visit and monitor school arrangements. In my area, some schools were converted to quarantine centres, and I was keeping a track of the migrants housed in these centres.
I have to inform the students about the programmes being telecasted on Doordarshan, and give the report to the Block and District administrations. I also have to collect photos of the students watching programmes on Doordarshan every week via WhatsApp.
Q: Is ration being provided in lieu of the Mid-Day Meal? What is the process, and are there any challenges you are facing?
CRCC: Yes, ration is being provided in place of the Mid-Day Meal. The Bihar government’s announcement to transfer money in the accounts of students has come recently.
The provision is to provide 8 kgs of ration to primary school students and 12 kgs to secondary school students.
Q: Do you have ICT tools available with you to reach out to students? What are these?
CRCC: I have my own mobile phone, and I am using this to share information and messages with the students. The government has not provided any help on this.
The lessons are being telecasted on Doordarshan, but they are not reaching to all students because many do not have a television or electricity. The issue is also that students are watching Doordarshan only under parental supervision. As soon as the parents leave, they change the channel and start watching other programmes.
The benefit is only for families in which parents sit with children and then ask questions. More than half of children are not studying.
Q: Have you received any training on teaching during COVID-19 times?
CRCC: No training has been held, but we received a letter telling us how to motivate students to watch programmes on Doordarshan.
We also had a meeting once where officials discussed informing children about COVID-19.
This interview was conducted with a Cluster Resource Centre Coordinator (CRCC) in Purnea, Bihar on 13 July 2020 in Hindi, and has been translated.