Self-learning packs: A lifeline to continue education and learning at home during COVID-19
Written by Devendra Yadav and Ayush Joshi
Arati, 9, shares that she is tired of thinking about COVID-19. “COVID-19 is everywhere - the radio, TV and newspaper. I miss going out, playing with my friends. But most importantly, I miss going to school.” She further explains that she and her friends are frustrated staying at home, and lack of social interaction has had a daunting effect in their daily lives. “The school has been closed for 6 months because of the virus, and I miss my friends,” shares, Arati. Like Arati, 40% of Nepal’s population under 18 are staying at home, as schools have been closed to slow the spread of the pandemic.
“I feel sad to see Arati staying at home, and doing nothing,” shares, Arati’s father, Sikandar. “The initial few days were fun for her, but as days became weeks, and weeks became months, her spirit has dampened, she misses her friends, and going to school.” He also expresses his concern over the prolonged closure of schools and feels anxious that Arati will miss out on her academic year. “But the self-learning packs supported by Save the Children through Ratauli Youth Club has helped a lot,” shares Sikandar.
In order to address the educational gap faced by children during the COVID-19 situation, and to support parents to continue learning and teaching at home, Save the Children through local partner, Ratauli Youth Club has been providing self-learning books from early grade learning to grade 3 to children. “These learning packs also came with pencils, notebook, eraser, sharpener, and colors,” expresses Arati. “I love to color, and these coloring books that came with the learning packs keep me engaged.” The learning packs have been designed to engage children, and creative exercises also supports with parent and child bonding. “I support her with reading, writing, and coloring,” shares Sikandar. He further mentions, “Before, Arati used to complain of staying at home, but now she likes to go through her new books and spends most of her days coloring.” These strategic interventions have also supported in creating a favorable learning environment at home.
Arati hopes that her school will reopen soon, and life can get back to normal. “Till the time the virus is there, we can’t go to school. So, I spend most of my days reading the books in the self-learning packs.” According to her, the books, along with the new stationary sets have become her friends.
Yadav is the Education Program Coordinator – Mahottari for Save the Children
Joshi is the Communications Manager for Save the Children