A teacher’s job isn’t easy. She has to jump through many hurdles every single day to help her student’s learn. Speak to teachers employed in government or affordable private schools and they will all have similar problems.
Learning abilities of students
There are large differences in the learning abilities of students. Some struggle to understand, while others learn easily and get bored with the repetitiveness in class. Since teachers have to finish topics within a certain period - many students are left behind.
Teachers also have to tackle hectic schedules as most schools are severely understaffed. India ranks 2 out of 74 of the countries that suffer from teacher shortages - lacking around 1 million primary school teachers. One teacher may have to do the job of 4 or 5 and deal with an almost endless list of duties and responsibilities. As a result, her teaching abilities and even familial life suffer.
The lack of space and poor infrastructure in schools further hinders her teaching - as she may not have the space to conduct extra classes or have access to learning tools that could help her students learn better.
Like teachers elsewhere, Jaya Yelle,who supervises the primary section at the Rishi Valmiki Eco School (RVES) in Mumbai struggles with the same issues. She learnt about Teach A Class and applied for the Personalised Learning Programme for 20 students in her class. She now manages the program for the school and runs separate sessions with children from different grades in an independent classroom and actively collaborates with class teachers to understand what help students need.
On a typical day at RVES, the class teacher of Grade 3, Meghana Ma'am is seen introducing a new concept to her students. Once that is done, students move on to Jaya's classroom to work on tablets and revise what they have learnt. Jaya does not handhold the students, but only offers her support if needed. Personalised learning has helped, Jaya to give attention to students who need it and support each one according to their needs. Jaya usually runs the class herself, but she may call in Meghana ma'am to help children who are stuck on basic concepts.
Conducting this remedial class wasn't a possibility earlier, as the shortage of space meant the computer room in which it was conducted wasn't always available. When Jaya communicated this to us, we sourced some tablets that weren’t being used and gave it to Jaya’s class. Now Jaya is free to conduct her remedial classes in any room!