“Our school has been shut for the past twelve weeks along with all schools and colleges throughout India due to a very strict COVID-19 lockdown. At this stage we have no idea when schools will be allowed to reopen.

This has caused a lot of disruption to RightHope as our new school year started at the end of January. Teachers have been trying to keep in touch with as many students as possible. As we believe in learning with understanding and the importance of building relationships, it has been important to keep connecting with students and providing them with their only English input. This has not been easy. We began calling students by phone, but the network was often bad and it was difficult to hear or to have a good conversation. Our students have no access to the internet or smart phones, so it is impossible to teach them online. However, students were delighted, as they had never received a personal phone call before. 

After a couple of weeks we started to visit students or gather them in small groups in or around their homes. This way we have been able to give students a sense of continuity and initiated as many different forms of active learning on a one on one basis, at least once a week. They miss coming to school and are constantly asking when they can come back. 

Many families were also left without an income due to the lockdown, so we have been able to provide them with some basic staples, including rice, dahl, oil, eggs, sugar, soap, peanuts, tea, biscuits, potatoes, carrots and beans at least once a week. We have sourced these supplies locally or from Shillong.”

~ Celia Fisher