World Literacy Day 2020: A policeman in Bengaluru is a role model for many on International Literacy Day. Shanthappa Jademmanavr, a sub-inspector, in the Karnataka capital devotes his free time teaching children of migrant workers who do not have access to computers and smartphones to attend online classes. Every day, before going to work, he takes a class with a handful of children on the pavement.
“The children of migrant workers also have the right to education. It is not their fault that they can’t go to school or can’t access online education. I don’t want these children to join their parents and work. I want them to study. It is a priority for me,” Mr Shanthappa told news agency ANI.
Around 25 odd boys and girls, with masks on their faces, sit in three lines as the tutor-cop takes his class every day in the morning.
Bengaluru: Shanthappa Jademmanavr, Sub-Inspector, Annapurneshwari Nagar, teaches children of migrant workers who don’t have access to smartphones, laptops to attend online classes, before reporting for police duty#Karnatakapic.twitter.com/o2pwojCrEK
— ANI (@ANI) September 8, 2020
The coronavirus-forced lockdown has taken its toll not only on jobs and the economy but the future of millions of children is at stake, according to non-profit groups, working with children. They have expressed concern over migrant children dropping out of school due to lockdown and no access to Internet.
“Since the first official national lockdown was announced, schools have been closed across the country. As migrant families return to their villages, struggling for their survival, it is very likely that their children’s access to education will suffer unless special efforts are made,” Priti Mahara, Director Policy, Research and Advocacy, Child Rights and You (CRY) told news agency Press Trust of India on May 31.
Another expert, Kamal Gaur, Deputy Director – Education at Save the Children, said COVID-19 has not just been a health emergency but also an education disaster. “Studies suggest that on an average 20 per cent children dropout post emergencies, and the last 90 days lockdown has resulted in complete loss of education for these children who are moving with their migrant families,” she said.
(Inputs fro ANI & PTI)