Open-air classrooms in Kashmir might just be what students needed to loosen up during this pandemic.
Access to online learning in Kashmir
Kashmir is found in the northernmost part of India. The region is popular among tourists for its splendid sceneries, diverse wildlife ecosystem, local handicraft by-products, and breathtaking snow-capped mountains.
Kashmir is practically one of the few places left with a clean and very natural environment. The air in the region is very clean.
With the ongoing pandemic, schools not only in India has been closed indefinitely. India plans to resume its classes anytime soon, but, it will be via online learning.
In areas near Kashmir, the internet and mobile gadgets are scarce resources of its residents. In online learning, the majority of the students, especially those from poor communities are unable to attend classes.
Open-air classrooms in Kashmir
Local authorities allowed the operation of open-air classrooms in the hills of Kashmir.
Now, students from nearby towns and cities take a hike up to the hills to attend open-air classroom classes. Parents admit that they are relieved by seeing their children participating in classes and not being left behind.
Even though classes are conducted in an open-air set-up, students are still required to wear protective masks. The advantage of open-air classrooms is that droplets are not contained in an enclosed area and enough space to practice proper social distancing.
According to a teacher volunteer in one of the community schools adhering to the open-air classroom set-up, local authorities in other nearby towns should also consider these types of set-ups.
This program will certainly help students coming from poor communities who are not capable of accessing online learning materials.
Community school teachers are also asking for assistance from local authorities to construct temporary shelter areas within open-air classrooms, in case of sudden rain downpour.
Overall, the open-air school set-up is a good alternative to resume physical classes despite the threat of COVID-19.