I know my responsibility as a teacher

Wednesday 8 September 2021

Ajay Jha conducting an online class

I have been teaching professionally since 1997. I started my teaching career in Kathmandu after which I moved to Mahottari . I have always tried to teach my students through modern technology whenever possible. When I moved to Mahottari in 2007, I tried establishing a school where students could learn any subjects from a computer. I had brought CDs with teaching materials with me and with the help of educational websites I wanted to revolutionize the teaching method for students then. But unfortunately, there were no internet facilities and we lacked enough computers for teaching thus I had to give up.

I currently teach Nepali subject to students of grade nine and 10 in a public school in Jaleshwor- Mahottari. The closure of schools due to the COVID-19 pandemic took a toll on the learning of students nationwide and ours was not an exception. We were looking for ways to continue our students’ learning, but we lacked the proper skills to do so. Our school could not conduct online classes due to lack of technological skills and resources alike. But I was dedicated to teaching my students and have tried various messaging apps. I carried on doing what I knew and participating in a ‘Digital Literacy Training’ helped immensely. I learned a lot about remote teaching from that training.

Since then, I have been actively teaching my students using technology. I taught my students how to use the Zoom app for online classes and using google forms for assignments. I feel like I can teach more to the students through use of technology than being in the physical class. In addition to online classes, I send audio explanations and assignments to my students. I also send them the answers to the assignments the next day and ask them how many of them they got right. This way, the children also feel motivated as I focus on things they did right rather than pointing out wrong ones. They consult with me on the things they did not understand afterwards.

Digital Literacy Training

The only challenge, and a big one, I have seen in this way of teaching is that all of them do not have computers and mobile phones to study. On students’ request, I have started taking classes from 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM, when their parents are home and they can use their parents’ phones to study. Although the school has no provisions of online classes, I have been teaching them online because I know my responsibility as a teacher. There are students from other schools and some private schools as well in my online classes. Other teachers in my school are also surprised to see the zeal of students for learning. At least in our side of the world, the use of smart online technologies for learning is new for students and teachers alike, and I think it is this novelty that makes learning more interesting and fun.   

In collaboration with Karkhana, Save the Children in partnership with its implementing partners - Ratauli Yuwa Club, Community Family Welfare Association, Save the Saptari, Sabal Nepal, Rastriya Rojgar Prawardhan Kendra, and Rural Women Upliftment Association- hosted digital literacy training for teachers of Province 2 to enhance their digital learning and teaching skills. Lessons on innovative digital learning and teaching aids, and experiential learning sessions were conducted for 119 teachers.