This headmaster in Tamil Nadu is giving smartphones to students joining his school amid COVID-19

By Think Change India|27th Aug 2020
Many students have not been able to access digital platforms amidst the COVID-19 crisis due to lack of resources. K Jayakumar Gnanaraj, headmaster of a Panchayat Union Elementary School near Srivilliputhur in Tamil Nadu, is buying mobile phones for children joining the school.
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Ever since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, several schools and educational institutions across India were forced to shut down. And this resulted in the distinctive rise of e-learning. However, many students have not been able to access digital platforms due to lack of resources.


According to a survey by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT), around 27 percent of students in the country do not have access to smartphones or laptops to attend online classes. The nodal body arrived at the result after talking to over 34,000 participants, including students, parents, teachers, and school principals from several CBSE affiliated and government schools. 


Headmaster

Headmaster K Jayakumar Gnanaraj giving away smart phones to children in his school.

Image credit: The New Indian Express

With the objective of ensuring the students encounter no such stumbling blocks, K Jayakumar Gnanaraj, headmaster of Padikkasuvaithanpatti Panchayat Union Elementary School near Srivilliputhur in Tamil Nadu’s Virudhunagar district is buying mobile phones for all the students who enroll in the school. Along with books, stationery, and a school bag, every child who takes admission has been given a smartphone. 


“Most of the people in the surrounding villages do not even have a mobile phone, let alone a smartphone. Also, they cannot afford to buy one considering their present financial condition,” Gnanaraj told The New Indian Express.





Children, particularly those studying from grade I to V, need continuous and proper attention. They have to learn daily to keep their memory fresh and they cannot do it on their own. They need assistance and we, as teachers, are more than happy to provide them that guidance,” he added. 


In addition to distributing mobile phones to all the students joining his school, he is also planning to hand out devices to existing students who need it. Further, the headmaster is also thinking of paying the transportation charges for students who cannot afford it. 


Many netizens including actress Priyanka Chopra recently appreciated the headmaster’s kind gesture through tweets. 



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Edited by Megha Reddy

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