“What is the meaning of education, Sir ? asked an 8 year old girl of the Samaritan Help Mission, in the slums of Calcutta to her teacher.
The teacher was teaching them spelling, and had asked them to spell e-d-u-c-a-t-i-o-n. Unlike most schools, this teacher was not in the classroom but was at his home in Glasgow UK and the students were watching him projected on a wall in their small classroom.
This class was being conducted using Google + hangout. The recent initiative of remote education started by the Samaritan Help Mission by their founder Mamoon Akthar.
The teacher, Mr Syed M Qureshi volunteers to teach these students from UK. He teaches them how to solve simple math puzzles and works on their vocabulary. With well prepared slideshows and interactive sessions, his class is a big hit with the students. The children love the class and participate with enthusiasm. When asked about how they felt about the class, one of the student said “we hope all our classes are like this” !
In this school where most of the children come from families facing abject poverty, Mamoon Akhtar has big ambitions for his students “We want our children to have access to the best teachers in the world” He said. “Technology now makes it possible”.
The way classes are conducted is changing . Schooling no longer means physical presence of the teacher or blackboard. No wonder the teachers was a bit perplexed when the child asked this question about “meaning of education !
A screenshot of the live session :