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Punjab teacher uses Covid-19 lockdown opportunity to teach children across the globe

Sanjeev Kumar is rendering selfless service by educating children for free online during the Covid-19 (Pic: Courtesy thebetterindia.com)

Bridging the distance with digital mode, a teacher located in Punjab, Sanjeev Kumar is imparting lessons to youngsters spread right across not just India but also the world!

On any given day, his online students numbering 3,500, from Class VIII to XII, can be from diverse places but predominantly they are from Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Jammu Kashmir. His foreign students, 80 of them are from UAE, Kenya, Saudi Arabia and Malaysia.

Sharing how it all started with the New Indian Express, Kumar said: "Since last week of March 2020, I am conducting free online classes of mathematics for students of Class VIII to XI as then I had ample time due to lockdown. The students are from various parts of the country. I conducted the first class on March 29, 2020 with just 50 students. The next day, I got 350 messages. Within 10 days, there were 600 to 700 students."

By the time March 2021 came, Kumar had 2,500 students of whom 700 left, most of whom were in Class XII and had finished their studies. With 1,800 left, he had another 1,700 joining in April itself. “The maximum students are from Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Jammu and Kashmir. We have got many requests from Telangana too. Also, more than 80 students from UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kenya, and Malaysia also joined,” he told the media.

Forty three-year-old Kumar has more than 18 years of experience.

The growing number of students made Kumar change his strategy. "As the number of students grew, we purchased a zoom business plan and decided to teach students class wise. We gave them codes as per their class and just 10 minutes prior to the class, we sent them the password to join the classes on zoom. Many parents too started attending the classes to see the performance of their children,” he revealed.

The daily schedule includes five classes daily for one hour each besides two special extra classes per week for students from Kenya and UAE to clear their doubts. He also takes classes twice to prepare students for the National Talent Search Examination.

Besides teaching himself, Kumar also invites 15 noted doctors, educationists from premier academic institutions and actors to give lectures. “From this session, I have started taking one-hour online live tests of students after teaching a chapter and giving the students feedback on their performance. We select the topper of the test and courier the child with a subject-related book worth Rs 500."

Lending a helping hand to Kumar in this work is his wife, also a teacher, who sends notes to all children.

Conversing to The Tribune as to why he does this work, he said: “I always thought of doing something which could bring about a change in people’s lives. When the lockdown happened, I had ample time left to myself, which is when I decided to teach students online. The response I have got so far has been staggering.”

He went on to add: “I am very well connected to my roots. My needs have always been minimal. So, when many people try to offer me money, I politely turn it down. I will consider myself successful if I am able to inspire a few more teachers to follow the suit.”