Guntur: A school teacher from a small village in Guntur who had been instrumental in using technology to connect the world did not sit back when the Covid-19 pandemic brought the world to a grinding halt.
Patcharu Harikrishna from the Zilla Parishad High School in Bhattiporu mandal’s Illavaram village set his focus on class 9 students, who would enter class 10 for the academic year 2020-21, as he felt they would suffer the most if re-opening of schools faced further delay. He set about his task and got a list of students from headmaster Nageswara Rao.
Harikrishna collected the students’ phone numbers as soon as schools closed down in March and started giving online lessons on Zoom since April itself. He even opened Facebook accounts for his students and started streaming lessons so that they could easily revisit their lessons later. But he did not stop at that.
Harikrishna went on to rope in experts from abroad and tracked down educators from across the world to take online classes for his students. He even used videos on Youtube channels of teachers to educate his students. “Only few of the 40 students had their own phones during the initial days (of the lockdown). I took the help of local elders and parents and asked them to provide their phones for at least a few hours for these lessons,” Harikrishna told TOI.
While he initially taught students English and communication, he went on to get teachers to provide lessons in the sciences and mathematics. “It was like a dream come true for us as we could freely interact with teachers from all over the world thanks to Harikrishna sir,” said Prasunamba, one of his students.