This good news comes to us from Kingston, Jamaica.
During this pandemic, children are most affected as they cannot attend their schools and update themselves with the learning required. In this situation, Taneka Mckoy Phipps, a school teacher in Kingston has started a project to educate children by writing on walls and using them as blackboards. As the city is hit by the risk of gunshots from gang warfare and oppressive Caribbean heat during the Covid-19 situation, Taneka moves around the city to write lessons on the blackboards that have been painted on its walls.
The parents and children of primary school age either take photos of the lessons on their phones or note them down in their notebooks. Later, they pass by Mckoy’s home either to pick up their homework or submit them to their teacher. As during this pandemic, wearing masks and maintaining social distancing is a must, so the children respect these necessities and stand in a line outside her house. Mckoy had this idea when the schools were closed because of the new corona virus which broke out nearly 7 months ago. She said, “I said that if we don’t meet them bring them (to learn), the family would have lost this opportunity that lies within these inner-city community children.” She further said, “I have to do something.”
Mckoy with a firm determination moved on towards her project for which she took her husband’s help in painting the walls of the streets black and then she herself wrote numeracy and literacy lessons on those blackboards. The project which was started by her has now got a support of many other teachers including Mckoy’s 23-year-old daughter. She estimates to reach about 120 children now. The online lessons have started in Kingston a month before but her project is still relevant as many do not have the access to the technology or internet in the city. The local people recognise her lessons as a nice interval amidst the harsh realities of the community.
Natalie Turner, a local mother said, “Right now the community we are living in is very violent, and it affects the kids, so if they can come and see the board, at least something can occupy their time.” This great step towards educating children amidst this pandemic is a remarkable job and a teacher always aims to teach her children with full dedication whatever the situation may!
Image Source: The Jakarta Post